Health and social care & social investment | Big Society Capital
Health and social care
& social investment
Investment Manager

Charities and social enterprises have a key role to play in improving the physical and mental health and wellbeing of people in the UK. Social investment can help to act as a catalyst for system change and ultimately greater social impact.

The health and social care system in the UK is under severe strain with increasing demand created by an ageing population and more people living with long term conditions, combined with an increase in social isolation. 

Health and social care under great financial strain

  • NHS Trusts have a deficit of over £1billion
  • Local Authorities have suffered funding cuts of more than 40% since 2010 and are no longer able to pay for crucial social care services

The system is facing increasing demand

  • 51% more people aged 65 and over in England in 2030 compared to 2010
  • Over 50% more people with three or more long-term conditions in England by 2018 compared to 2008
  • Almost 1 in 4 British adults and 1 in 10 children experience a diagnosable mental health problem at any given time

There is patchy quality of service provision

  • Inconsistent and often poor quality of care (in the lowest performing GP practices, only 25% of patients report being able to see their doctor)
  • Disjointed services and support to individuals
  • Reactive rather than preventative (34% of patients visiting A&E only needed advice)

Charities and social enterprises have a significant role to play in addressing some of these challenges - using innovative models to support the integration of health and social care, taking a person centered approach, and delivering early interventions.

Social investment can help health and social care providers with

  • Supporting new models of care to shift spending away from acute services and into preventative services. The UK health system is often focused on responding to acute needs rather than provision of preventative, community based services even when they could potentially deliver better outcomes at a lower cost. Social investment can catalyse a shift in to prevention by providing upfront working capital for delivering outcomes based contracts or taking part in Social Impact Bond (SIBs).
  • Enabling health and social care charities to develop new community based accommodation options. The ageing population and the rise in learning disabilities will be accompanied by an increasing need for accommodation for those vulnerable groups. Social investment can enable charities and social enterprises to purchase assets directly or to lease assets, in order to provide a combination of community based and residential care models.
  • Developing new models and scaling existing services. Start-up charities and social enterprises with disruptive technology-based models, or established organisations developing new models of care and new products, can take on social investment to hire additional staff for new service delivery. They can also use it to invest in business development to sell existing services into new markets.

Our health and social care induction slides provide further information. 

Examples of social investment supporting health & social care

Big White Wall is a digital mental health and wellbeing service, which used social investment to scale their social business.
Garforth Neighbourhood Elders Team is working in partnership with Leeds City Council to use social investment to transform the way older people are supported in the community.
Greenwich Leisure Limited, a Community Benefit Society, used a charity bond to help transform new sports facilities as accessible community facilities

Recent blogs, research and news

Blog | 15 November 2018
John Bishop, managing director of social enterprise Evolve writes about being a social – and systems – entrepreneur. He...
Blog | 29 August 2018
We are pleased to publish the first iteration of our investment strategy which seeks to identify the areas where Big...
Blog | 23 July 2018
Far too many children educated outside mainstream schools are failed by the system. Our Head of Strategy Stephen Muers...

Our investments

Loans to community-owned social enterprises that engage community supporters to improve social care services.
Finance to develop and scale community care services for people affected by cancer and those with long-term conditions.
Secured loan facility to underwrite the inaugural issue of a fixed income bond by disability charity Scope.

Future investment ideas

Visit our future investment ideas page to see what new ideas we're working on.

Social Investment Insights

Research | 10 December 2014

This Social Investment Insights paper focuses on how social investment can be used to support the health and social care sector.