Public Services (Social Value) act

The Public Services (Social Value Act) was passed at the end of February 2012 and came into force in January 2013. Under the Act, for the first time, all public bodies in England and Wales are required to consider how the services they commission and procure might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the area.

The legislation affects a range of organisations including those in the NHS, public health, local authorities, government departments and housing associations.

The Public Services (Social Value) Act sits alongside other procurement laws. Value for money is the over-riding factor that determines all public sector procurement decisions. But there is a growing understanding of how value for money is calculated, and how “the whole-life cycle requirements” can include social and economic requirements.

You can see the legislation here.

For more information about social value in health and care visit the Social Value – Areas of Focus page – which includes the Creating social value module document that supports the Sustainable Development Strategy.

The legislation was part of a major government drive to make it easier for Social Enterprises to deliver public services.

For more detail Social Enterprise UK produced a useful guide.