12 October, 2022

Embedding social value in the NHS

Explore how a social value discovery project, like that undertaken by NHS London is an important step to embedding social value in the health sector.

With a renewed emphasis on health inequalities and population health for the NHS, a focus on driving impact and social value is an opportunity to be transformative for the communities across the UK. NHS London are one organisation paving the way for this transformation by undertaking a discovery exercise to assess the level of understanding of social value and how it is emerging in London. NHS London are working with HACT on this project which includes the understanding of social value by leaders across the many NHS organisations and five Integrated Care Systems in the Capital.

What is social value discovery?

There is already great work happening across the health sector to achieve social value within the NHS and health organisations, particularly to assist in procurement. Peer networks and advisory networks are also being set up to enhance and share learnings.

For social value to be generated and optimized, organisations need to understand what is needed in the local community, how they can support this and then translate this into an intentional approach to delivering outcomes and impact. Ahead of creating a plan of action, a discovery exercise assessing the understanding of social value across a chosen organisation will provide initial findings in where and how to incorporate social value into strategy and programmes.

The methodology used

HACT gain a comprehensive picture to demonstrate the understanding of key social value concepts and how they are used both strategically and operationally across different levels of the organisation. Then, looking to the future, we explore what requirements are needed within governance systems and bodies to demonstrate the resources needed beyond a measurement tool to successfully deliver social value plans and the best way to construct a development programme.

There are a variety of options to gather this insight:

What is the outcome?

A summary of findings and a comprehensive plan of how to embed social value across the organisation. For example, findings for NHS London indicated more clarity on how to achieve the strategic priorities for social value and a simplified approach to social value in general. Insights like this can be crucial ahead of undertaking a larger social value project, to ensure it succeeds and that a framework can be delivered effectively.

To truly embed social value across the health sector, initial social value programmes should be approached as a process of continuous learning with a focus on education and support for those colleagues set to deliver them. An initial social value discovery session can benefit housing or health organisations with HACT’s expertise to view your social value approach holistically, maximising your social impact across health, housing and and the communities you serve.

Get in touch

To learn more about how HACT can help, contact HACT Health & Research Lead Sarah Parsons

contact Sarah