Open accesscreativecommonsEditorial reviewed/Short paper
Published online: October 2023

The problem of social care: A co-operative solution

Alex Bird, Andrew Birchall, Anita Mangan,ORCIDMick McKeown,ORCID Cilla Ross,ORCID and Simon Taylor

Vol 55 No 2, pp. 35-42


How to cite this article: Bird, A., Birchall, A., Mangan, A., McKeown, M., Ross, C. & Taylor, S. (2022). The problem of social care: A co-operative solution. Journal of Co- operative Studies, 55(2), 35-42.


This short paper responds to Johnston Birchall’s observations on the future of the co-operative movement in relation to the crisis of social care in the UK. The authors put the case for a union co-operative model that offers a means for forming worker co-operatives for social care inclusive of trade unions and framed around an ethic of care, enhanced worker voice, and wider democratic participation in the sector. More on union co-operatives can be found at



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UK Society for Co-operative Studies is registered in England and Wales as a charitable incorporated organisation Number 1175295. Our registered office is Holyoake House, Hanover Street, Manchester, M60 0AS.
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