VODG argues delivering social value is key to reducing inequalities

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VODG has launched a practical resource that supports the delivery of social value in the commissioning of social care – The VODG Social Value Toolkit.

The VODG Social Value Toolkit promotes increased cooperation between social care commissioners and providers. The guidance has been created in response to the fact that while there are resources to support commissioners to implement the Social Value Act, less guidance exists for social care providers.

The new toolkit reflects an approach to commissioning which creates maximum value for money from public spending by realising additional benefits from providers – at no extra cost to the public purse.

Harnessing social value is an essential route to tackling inequalities. VODG’s toolkit guides social care providers on how to demonstrate the added value that not-for-profit organisations deliver.

VODG chief executive Dr Rhidian Hughes says:

“We need to use existing legislation to lever better outcomes through the commissioning of services. We have found that while there is a wealth of guidance for commissioners on the implementation of the Social Value Act there is far less for providers. The VODG Social Value Toolkit provides a new resource to assist voluntary organisations to better articulate their added value. It offers practical examples of how the sector is making a huge difference to the lives of disabled people and the communities in which they live.”

For example, VODG member social care provider KeyRing works with a commissioner to deliver social value. KeyRing is contracted by Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council to support vulnerable adults to live independently. The contract includes requirements to use local suppliers, recruit local staff, pay the Living Wage (as defined by the Living Wage Foundation and distinct from the national living wage) and minimise use of zero hour contracts. Not only does KeyRing deliver these additional benefits, it has also secured Big Lottery Fund for a project to prevent people from falling into hardship, bringing an additional £469,000 to the borough.

And in Halton, Dave Sweeney, Director of Transformation and Deputy Chief Officer NHS Halton clinical commissioning group (CCG), says:

“NHS Halton CCG in collaboration with the local authority now has social value in contractual agreements across all major providers. However, innovation is only as good as the outcomes providers can deliver. With that in mind I am really pleased to see a growing number of measurement tools such as the VODG Social Value Toolkit for Providers. This approach can only enhance the huge opportunities social value offers to population health and wellbeing.”

John Crawford, Chief Executive of Yarrow Housing who contributed to the toolkit, adds:

“The third sector brings an enormous amount of social, economic and environmental benefits to the local communities that we serve. The VODG Social Value Toolkit provides organisations like Yarrow with the means to evidence to commissioners and procurement teams the additional social value that we bring when they contract with us. Evidencing and outlining social value is becoming a must for third sector organisation and the VODG Toolkit is a brilliant and much needed resource.”

VODG will continue to support providers to deliver the best possible quality services within the current financial constraints and work collaboratively with commissioners to maximise the social value they deliver in the local communities they serve.

Download the Social Value tool kit here.