In light of increasing pressures on the NHS, leveraging proven innovations and improvements that have the potential to improve patient outcomes or reduce costs is arguably more important than ever. The Health Foundation has supported many projects that have achieved powerful improvements in the quality of healthcare in local communities. Now the challenge is how to scale this impact to the benefit of more people and society as a whole.

The Health Foundation has been working with Spring Impact to explore the potential for social licensing and franchising to support the scale up of proven solutions operating in health and social care. This work has included completing a literature review, interviews with experts from across the health system, developing criteria for organisations suitable for scaling using these approaches and carrying out workshops with 15 past grantees to further investigate this potential.

The research highlighted that many promising solutions fail to scale their outcomes to new locations effectively. The teams who develop those solutions overwhelmingly rely on dissemination methods, which do not have an on-going relationship between the teams that develop the solution and the teams that adopt the solution, such as journal articles or toolkits. Social licensing and franchising appear to be particularly underused in the health system 

As a result, the Health Foundation are further exploring the potential for social franchising and social licensing within the UK health sector by working directly with four selected projects. The four projects have been identified from the previous phase of work as having the most potential to scale through social franchising or licensing. These projects will receive:

  • funding and support from the Health Foundation

  • a programme of consultancy support from ICSF to design their replication model and supporting processes and documentation 

  • support from an evaluator to gather data feeding into an evaluation and support teams with quality control.