Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has hailed Surrey County Council for being social work pioneers.
He praised the authority for setting up an independent organisation to give deaf people and the hard of hearing more personalised care.
Under the scheme, social workers were set free from the council to give people greater control over their care and support.
Mr Maude told the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives that Surrey and five other councils were “pioneering the way forward” on employee-led mutuals.
He said: “I know many local authorities are at an early stage in thinking about how mutuals fit into their vision for future service delivery. However there are councils pioneering the way forward.
“I urge you to join the pioneers who are building the next generation of highly productive and efficient mutualised services. It is an imperative for the people we serve that this opportunity is not missed.”
Last year, Mr Maude praised Surrey for finding better ways of spending public money more effectively through its Public Value Reviews (PVRs) after a visit by his efficiency and reform team. The PVRs have now found a total of £280m of savings.
For the minister’s full speech, follow this link.