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10.04.13

Social value is commissioners’ duty

Clinical commissioners must fully consider social value when commissioning community health and social care services, a new paper urges.

Special advisor on third sector issues to the NHS Alliance, Mo Girach, and Julian Blake, joint head of the charity and social enterprise department at law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite, have  published a paper ‘A new year of Social Value in public service delivery’.

The paper highlights commissioners “clear duty” to integrate the Social Value Act obligations into their own work.

Girach said: “‘Social value’ is not as easy to value as price, or to define as quality, so one of the key challenges for healthcare commissioners in the future will be managing the tension between conventional cost based approaches, and the newer ‘value’ based approach.”

Blake said: “It will be vital for commissioners to create a ‘common currency’ in social value methodologies and metrics, which authorities and providers can use in specifications, assessments and performance management.”

The paper states: “Social value takes us to the next stage where the commissioning process is seeking to achieve recognition of intrinsic value beyond the purely financial.”

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