Healthy commissioning: How the Social Value Act is being used by Clinical Commissioning Groups
- Communication and administration
The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 requires commissioners to consider broader social, economic and environmental benefits to their area when making commissioning decisions. It was a response to the risk of competitive tendering focusing solely on cost at the expense of other forms of value.
The report authors submitted Freedom of Information Requests to all Clinical Commissioning Groups in England (209 at the time) and received responses from 91% (191).
- 13% of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) can clearly show that they are actively committed to pursuing social value in their procurement and commissioning decisions.
- 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.
In the report, National Voices and Social Enterprise UK recommend that social value to be built into NHS England’s Right Care programme which assists CCGs with commissioning value-based patient pathways. They also call for NHS England, the Department of Health and Public Health England to issue joint guidance on implementation of the Social Value Act. The authors conclude that there must be closer working between the voluntary sector and NHS organisations to deliver greater social value.
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