Healthy Commissioning

New report shows that only a minority of NHS commissioners making active use of Social Value Act | National Voices | Social Enterprise UK

New research conducted by National Voices and Social Enterprise UK, found that only 13% of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) can clearly show that they are actively committed to pursuing social value in their procurement and commissioning decisions.

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The authors of Healthy Commissioning warn that improved commitment to social value is vital to achieving the Five Year Forward View aim of creating a ‘new relationship with people and communities’ and NHS plans to move to more place-based ‘accountable care systems’. It is also vital to making sure the public pound is used as effectively as possible.


The Public Services (Social Value Act) 2012 requires commissioners to consider broader social, economic and environmental benefits to their area when making commissioning decisions.

The researchers found that:

  • 43% of respondents either had no policy on the Social Value Act; were not aware of a policy; or had a policy in some stage of development.
  • Just 25 CCGs (13%) demonstrated what the authors define as ‘highly committed, evidenced and active’ use of the Social Value Act.
  • Weighting procurement for social value, even amongst the most highly committed CCGs, is limited and low. A pass/fail question or a weighting of 2% of the total evaluation was common.
  • Analysis of Sustainability and Transformation Plans found that just 13% mention social value.

Download the full report : Healthy Commissioning: How the Social Value Act is being used by Clinical Commissioning Groups


Social Value in Procurement

This event write-up is based on a workshop held with WSP in Birmingham in December 2016, with attendees from local authorities and the private sector | NLGN

social value
Image source: NLGN

This write-up looks at the background to including social value in procurement processes, as well as how its aims can best be achieved in practice.

The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 requires commissioners in public authorities to have regard to economic, social and environmental well-being when buying public services. Public bodies are now encouraged to make social value a consideration and look for providers who can also deliver value to the local community for minimal or no additional cost. Almost four years after its enactment, more councils are adopting the Social Value Act in their commissioning – however uptake has been slow and patchy both within and across local authorities.

Read the full write-up here

New resources to help commissioners embed social value

A new set of resources to help commissioners embed an outcomes based approach to their procurement of public services has been launched.

Following The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, commissioners are increasingly looking for positive social outcomes, which have a lasting impact and can be clearly demonstrated to stakeholders. At a time when budgets are tighter than they have ever been, maintaining public confidence and positive perceptions is a constant challenge for commissioners, which needs to be carefully managed if initiatives are to be delivered successfully and on time.

The resources from Social Enterprise Mark focus on an outcomes based approach to commissioning, and explain how asking for the Social Enterprise Mark/Gold Mark in commissioning criteria is an easy way of embedding social value within contract specifications and demonstrating consideration of the Social Value Act.

Further information:


The Social Value Difference in Health and Care Commissioning

Social Enterprise UK | Published online: October 2016

Image source: SEUK

This short report details the difference social value can make in health and care commissioning, and shares learning for other commissioning authorities to make the most of social value.

It presents the initial findings from SEUK’s Health and Social Value Programme, a three-year programme bringing together local CCGs, local authorities, Health and Wellbeing Boards and VCSE organisations in 12 areas across England.


Image source: SEUK


SEUK have put together A 12 step approach for commissioners looking to make the most of social value.

Read the full report here

Read the 12 steps here