Staff at Central Essex Community Services

Provide (formerly Central Essex Community Services) is a provider of community health services with more than 1,100 staff.

The establishment of Provide formed part of the Government initiative to separate the commissioning and provider roles of the local NHS. Having worked towards the separation for a number of years, they launched in April 2011.

With a turnover of £51 million, they provide all of the community health services they delivered before the separation. This includes more than 50 community health care services – from universal services, such as community hospitals, district nursing, health visiting, school nursing, podiatry and public health, to specialist services for children and people with long term conditions.

All employees have the chance to own a stake in the organisation through a £1 share, with 15 staff members elected to Provide's Council of Governors.

Staff innovation is readily encouraged and acted upon. Provide has a Clinical Change Board which considers staff ideas. For example, following a staff proposal, Provide is funding a pilot using iPads to give patients requiring speech and language therapy their interventions remotely and save them travelling to clinics.

Since spinning out, Provide has seen sickness rates reduce significantly, and staff satisfaction increase:

  • The number of days lost due to sickness absence per FTE decreased by approximately two days per employee per year since they spun out in April 2011
  • A staff survey conducted in October/November 2011 showed that 90% of staff looked forward to going to work, compared with 86% in 2010.

Provide has also successfully won a series of additional contracts to provide community services across Essex and in Outer North East London, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. 

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