Exploring Social Franchising A programme to explore the use of social franchising techniques to help spread and scale health and care interventions.

Exploring social franchising page

This programme is closed for applications. Learnings will be shared in 2022.

  • The programme supported four teams to explore whether social franchising techniques can be used successfully to scale their work.
  • The teams are supported by the Health Foundation, Spring Impact and an independent evaluator during the programme.
  • This programme forms part of the Health Foundation's work to test and pilot new approaches to scaling health and social care interventions.

The Health Foundation is exploring new techniques to scale improvement and how this can be supported by social franchising techniques.

Social franchising is a method to replicate and scale interventions that are not widely used in health care in the UK. It requires exchange between an innovator or franchisor and an adopter site or franchisee, with the goal of replicating impact in different locations to an agreed standard.

The primary aim of social franchising is to maximise social benefit, distinguishing it from the commercial use of franchising methods. We believe social franchising techniques have the potential to help spread proven health interventions by:

  • offering greater levels of support to implementers adopting an intervention by providing ongoing training and support
  • helping to create a sustainable financial model for the intervention
  • offering more control to the innovator to ensure replication of a model, where this is necessary to create improved outcomes, while also supporting local flexibility in implementation.

The programme

This programme had a two-stage application process. At the first stage we invited teams to express their interest in receiving funded consultancy support from Spring Impact to explore whether social franchising techniques could support the successful scale of improvement interventions.

At the end of the first stage Spring Impact worked with 10 organisations to offer consultancy support. During the second stage we invited a number of these applicants to apply for funding over one year to develop their social franchising model to scale interventions from its original health care setting to further sites.

The successful applicants were announced in December 2017 and can be seen below.

Each team has designed its own bespoke social franchise model and developed social franchising systems and documents. In 2019, all four teams were granted further funding to put their new approaches into practice. From late 2019 until early 2021, the teams will work with implementer sites across the UK to test and refine their social franchising models.

An interim evaluation of the programme will be produced in summer 2020, and a final evaluation will be produced in summer 2021.Learnings will be shared in 2021. If you are interested in hearing more about our work in this area, please get in touch (social.franchising@health.org.uk).

Developing a licensed, social franchising model for regional hubs to support and sustain the roll out of effective local multi-professional maternity training

Improvement project

Developed a social franchise model to support, sustain and quality-assure the roll-out of local PROMPT multi-professional training.

Scale up, replication and licensing of the PINCER intervention

Improvement project

Scaled up and spread a proven pharmacist-led intervention that supports pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, working with GP practices, to identify cases of potentially hazardous prescribing, resolve...

Replicating Pathway’s homeless health hospital team model to towns and cities experiencing significant homelessness

Improvement project

Replicated a model that ensures that homeless patients receive better care and more support while in hospital, and help moving on.

IRISi – Scaling and replicating IRIS through social licensing

Improvement project

Used social franchising to scale up and replicate IRIS (Identification and Referral to Improve Safety), a successful general practice-based domestic violence and abuse training, support and referral p...

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