Commenting on the publication of the new action plan for the VCSE Review, in which Simon Stevens, the CEO of NHS England, called for greater use of the Social Value Act, Peter Holbrook CEO of Social Enterprise UK said:

We once again welcome the re-commitment from senior leaders at NHS England in recognising the value of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in the co-design and delivery of health and care services.

Of greater significance is the long overdue focus on using the Social Value Act to open up opportunities to the VCSE sector and embed it into the creation of more community focused and responsive services. 

We’re delighted that Simon Steven’s has recognised that use of the Act should be more routine in health commissioning but regrettably, at present, it is not being sufficiently used. Research published last year by Social Enterprise UK with National Voices showed that only 13% of clinical commissioning groups actively used the Act and that 43% had either had no social value policy in place or had not yet finalised one.

If this gulf between national vision and local reality is to be bridged, commissioners need to make the most of the tools they already have to hand. Social enterprises are well positioned to deliver -they have social value at their core and are working across the country delivering patient, practitioner and community inspired solutions to our ever-greater health needs.

We hope that the Action Plan acts as an impetus for seismic changes in the way the NHS uses procurement as tool for greater societal health and wellbeing.

For more information about the action plan visit - https://vcsereview.org.uk/