Welcome to March’s Member Newsletter.

March has very much been “social value” month with our Social Value Leaders Summit taking place at King’s College, London and supported by Engie, Wates, Social Value UK and Anthony Collins Solicitors. Over 120 leaders from businesses, the public sector, social enterprises and universities all came together to discuss how we can do more to spread and embed social value across our economy.

The main feature of the day was the speech by the Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden, (who replaced our original speaker, David Lidington after some late Brexit related drama) which laid out a new public consultation on a national social value framework. This new framework will cover £49bn of central government procurement and aims to support social enterprises win more business, particularly within supply chains of major government suppliers. This is a very positive move and we need to push the government to go as far as possible. A twelve week consultation period has begun, so please read it and feed your views into Social Enterprise UK.

We will also have new research on social value coming out soon, so watch this space for further updates.

We are now building up to our next major conference, the Health and Social Care Conference: A Better Way Forward on the 16th May where we will have Baroness Dido Harding, Chair of NHS Improvement, as a keynote speaker. It will be a great event and an opportunity to discuss, learn and network with peers across the country.

There is a lot of change taking place in the NHS, and not of all it is positive. Extra funding is welcome, but pushes for “integration” across the NHS could threaten the ability of social enterprises to play a growing role in the delivery of health and social care services. New primary legislation has been proposed to make the Long Term Plan work and we would urge members in the health and social care sector to read it and let us know whether this could negatively affect you. 

We will be fighting on behalf of the sector to make sure that the value of social enterprises is recognised by the NHS.

As always, we want to hear from members with any news that you have about your successes, concerns or thoughts on how we can do better. Don’t be shy to get in touch with us.

Andrew O’Brien

Director of External Affairs, Social Enterprise UK