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Bids open for share of £50k from social enterprise profits

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 12, 2013

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The social enterprise behind the delivery of community healthcare services in Plymouth is seeking funding bids for a £50,000 pot generated from its half-year profits.

Plymouth Community Healthcare – which was established October in 2011 to provide community health services across the city on behalf of the NHS – is calling for applications for its fund set up to support grass-roots community projects with a focus upon health and wellbeing.

The organisation is seeking to give away eight community grants, of which six will receive £5,000 each and £10,000 will go to the two projects considered "most successful."

The fund has been put aside from £386,000 post-tax profits generated by the organisation to the end of September 2012.

The remainder will be reinvested back into the enterprise, to offset healthcare cuts which have led to it having to make £4 million savings in its operational costs over its current and next financial years.

At its AGM in December, the social enterprise's finance director Dan O'Toole revealed that the organisation was set to deliver a £600,000 profit on its first full financial year ending in March and was "up for the challenge" ahead.

PCH has taken on a £90million annual budget and 1,719 staff from NHS Plymouth, under a Government edict to manage healthcare in the community.

Patients still receive services for free, from the same staff including district nurses, mental health and rehabilitation teams.

Its mission is to provide care in the community, and at units such as Devonport's Cumberland Centre, rather than see people admitted to hospital.

Mr O'Toole said that PCH had spent £45.6million in its first half year, including £42.5million on staff costs and £3.8million on lease of land and buildings.

During the period, PCH also delivered £4.2million in efficiency savings, which Mr O'Toole said was achieved by reducing overheads and building costs. It is looking to make further savings including by working with other organisations to share services and back office functions.

Announcing the organisation's community fund yesterday, Mr O'Toole said: "We are delighted to be able to hand over our £50,000 surplus to support community health activities and projects taking place across the city."

Interested parties can find out more about the terms and conditions of the fund at www.plymouthcommunity healthcare.co.uk.

Mr O'Toole added: "We need to give this money out before the end of March, so we urge people to go to our website, download an application form and tell us how they are working to keep the people of Plymouth safe, well and at home."

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