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East Coast Community Healthcare
With its headquarters in Lowestoft, ECCH is a staff-owned social enterprise formed in 2011 as part of the Government initiative to separate the roles of commissioning and provider.
Around 700 employees deliver over 30 wide-ranging services - community nursing and therapies, Smokefree Norfolk, adult speech and language therapy, dietetics, stroke recovery, cardiac rehabilitation and specialist palliative care in partnership with St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich, to name a few - to some 70,000 service users throughout Norfolk and Suffolk. We have contracts with the NHS and Norfolk County Council and an annual turnover of circa £38m.
What makes ECCH different is that we operate as a Community Interest Company 'CIC', which gives us the opportunity to create a more sustainable and flexible organisation, taking charge of our own destiny. We reinvest any surplus in benefitting the community, whether that be by supporting local projects or investing in extra staff and services to provide care for people and build healthier communities. We have an ethos of high quality care, every time. ECCH has twice been voted runner-up ‘Public Service Mutual of the Year’ by the Employee Ownership Association.
ECCH is owned by its staff, which means employees have a stake, and therefore a real say, in how the organisation operates. 76% of staff are shareholders - well above average for a social enterprise - and we have two Staff Directors, appointed by their shareholder colleagues, who have voting rights on the Board. ECCH also has a Shareholder Council, made up of staff representatives from across the organisation, which is consulted on issues affecting the organisation. For example, shareholders played a key role in the appointment of the current Chair and Non-Executive Directors.
As a Social Enterprise we operate a number of commercial activities to subsidise running costs, support core healthcare roles and generate social value, in the communities we serve, and the wider health and social care system in Norfolk and Waveney.