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26.05.17

Only one in 10 CCGs take social value into account when commissioning

Only 13% of CCGs in England are actively committed to pursuing social value when making procurement and commissioning decisions, new research has found.

Under the Social Value Act 2012, commissioners are required to consider broader social, economic and environmental effects when making decisions on commissioning care.

But research conducted by National Voices, the coalition of health and social care charities, entitled ‘Healthy commissioning: How the Social Value Act is being used by CCGs’ has found that only around one in 10 CCGs take this factor into account when commissioning.

Authors of the report have warned that committing to social value was crucial to achieving ambitions outlined in the Five Year Forward View (FYFV) that aim to create a ‘new relationship with people and communities’.

It was also found that 43% of respondents had no policy on the social value act or were not aware of the policy. Only 25 CCGs actively had a ‘highly committed, evidenced and active, use of the Social Value Act’.

And in analysing sustainability and transformation plans, only 13% even mentioned social value.

“The Social Value Act enables commissioners creatively to shape local non-statutory provision, so as to support people and communities with prevention, managing their health and achieving wellbeing,” said Don Redding, director of policy at National voices and a joint author of the report.

“This approach is inherent in the FYFV, the new care models and the general move towards more place-based and population-focused ‘accountable care systems’.”

Redding concluded by saying that the NHS needed a “serious review” of how it supports commissioners to have the knowledge, confidence and skills to adopt social value these principles and approaches.

Dr Tim Moorhead, chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners Core Cities Network, described the report as a useful reminder to commissioners of how the Social Value Act can help them to achieve strategic ambitions and deliver the best possible care for patients.

“We know this is something that is rising up CCGs’ agenda and it is encouraging to see that more than 50% of CCGs have at least a social value policy or are actively using it to support their commissioning activity,” he stated.

“Last year we published ‘Shaping healthy cities and economies’ which demonstrates how CCGs are developing their role into activity that can support wellbeing, local growth and the social determinants of health – that report showcases a number of good examples of this including Liverpool CCG who are proactively using the Social Value Act to underpin their work.

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