Sir Stephen Bubb: NHS England contracting reforms present opportunity for Charities and Social Enterprises

Sir Stephen Bubb, CEO of ACEVO, today welcomed proposals made by NHS England for changes to be made to lead contracting arrangements for healthcare providers and to help speed up the ‘spinning out’ of commissioning support units (CSUs) as staff mutuals.

He was responding to a letter from Bob Ricketts CBE, Director of Market Strategy and Development at NHS England, who wrote personally to Sir Stephen and to Peter Holbrooke of SEUK to inform charities and social enterprises of the new arrangements.

The new arrangements for lead contractors will ensure that bids are privileged that include ‘strong partnership arrangements’ with SMEs and voluntary sector organisations. 

NHS England have also committed to helping CSUs that wish to ‘spin out’ to do so by way of a development programme with the Cabinet Office.

Commenting, Sir Stephen Bubb said:

“This is an important moment for charities and social enterprises providing community based healthcare. Following detailed discussions with the sector, these new arrangements for lead providers offer a great opportunity to engage with health commissioning. 

“The health service cannot afford to continue to ignore community providers. We provide long-term, citizen- focused services, that work for and speak out on behalf of patients and users of health and care services.

“We look forward to working more closely with NHS England on the detail and we hope and expect that more charities and social enterprises will step forward and deliver the healthcare services we need.”


Notes to editors

1. The Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) supports, connects and represents the leaders of the UK’s 1,500 leading charities, campaign groups and social enterprises.

2. Full details of the organisations – including NHS CSUs, public-private partnerships and commercial organisations – progressing to Invitation to Tender (ITT) stage in the Lead Provider Framework procurement for commissioning support services (CSS) can be found at

For more information or comments please contact or 07825 894716 


Share this

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Not an ACEVO member?

If you have any queries please email
or call 020 7014 4600.