Report 9/2015
Local Action on Health Inequalities: Using the Social Value Act to reduce health inequalities in England through action on the social determinants of health by Dr Jessica Allen, Matilda Allen

The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, which came into force on 31 January 2013, requires public sector commissioners in England (and some in Wales) to consider how they could improve the economic, environmental and social wellbeing of their local area through their procurement activities.

It applies to local authorities, acute trusts, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), other NHS organisations, fire and rescue services, education and early years services, police, housing associations and government departments.

The briefing is based on the longer report on this topic (available above), which gives references, further details and more case studies. It is intended for all those who commission or provide services, particularly those at a local level.

The purposes of this summary, and the longer accompanying practice resource, are to:

  • explain what social value means, and how and whether it is used
  • set out the reasons to act on social value
  • provide information, guidance and examples of local action for local public sector commissioners in order to increase social value in their procurement activities

The legal requirements of the Social Value Act require considerations of social value in the commissioning cycle and local spending. It creates potential and a lever and set of accountabilities for using local and national commissioning to improve health and reduce health inequalities, through action on the social determinants of health.