New social value award launched to recognise and celebrate positive impact in healthcare

Published: 28-Nov-2023

The first UK-wide social value accreditation for the health sector has been launched in collaboration NHS Arden & GEM

The first UK-wide social value accreditation for the health sector has been launched by social value standards leader, Social Value Quality Mark CIC, in collaboration with health systems support partner, NHS Arden & GEM.

The Social Value Quality Mark (SVQM) Health Award has been developed exclusively for the health sector and aims to support health organisations in achieving a more resilient, sustainable and integrated health and care system. It has been designed to reflect national health and care policy and will respond to the needs, challenges and opportunities of the industry.

The challenges faced by the NHS are well documented. NHS England predicts an NHS workforce shortfall of at least 260,000 by 2036/37. It sets out priorities under its Long Term Workforce Plan that include a focus on training, enabling innovative ways of working and improving culture, leadership and wellbeing.

Meanwhile, social value has been embedded within the fourth aim of Integrated Care Systems – to support broader social and economic development.

The SVQM Health Award aligns to these priorities and will help organisations to adapt to recent procurement policy notices which require evidence of social value delivery as a precondition for winning public sector work.

In practice, the award will distinguish and recognise organisations for:

  • Making a meaningful commitment to employee health and wellbeing – including physical and mental wellbeing activities, support and intervention.
  • Encouraging innovative and collaborative ways of working – including a shift towards community partnerships that will be vital for creating additional capacity.
  • Focusing on ‘localism’ – the act of recruiting from, and sourcing and reinvesting with, local communities.
  • Making progress against their net zero commitments. NHS England has set a target of 2040 for organisations to be carbon neutral on the emissions that they directly control.
  • Providing work placements, internships, apprenticeships and careers guidance to encourage the next generation of healthcare workers into the industry.

The accreditation is open to any health organisation working as part of or with an Integrated Care System – including primary care, provider trusts, Integrated Care Boards, local government, VCFSEs and private sector organisations.

Alison Tonge, Executive Director of Strategy and Innovation at NHS Arden & GEM, said:

“Prioritising social value can play a vital role in delivering improvements in care quality and health outcomes, while also helping the NHS to address societal inequalities and meet its net zero ambitions. We are proud to support the development and launch of a dedicated Health Award for social value to give recognition to healthcare organisations, and their partners, for their work on delivering long term benefit for our people, our communities and our planet.

“Organisations applying for recognition can receive support from our Social Value Network which was set up to share expertise, best practice, tools and resources across the public sector.”

Richard Dickins, MD of Social Value Quality Mark CIC, comments:

“We believe social value is a vital tool in building a stronger, more resilient future for our healthcare systems. The SVQM Health Award aims to nurture and celebrate the highest value standards in healthcare. Few other industries play such a hands-on role in our nation’s health and happiness; this is their chance to receive distinction for the value they add.”

For more information about the Health Award or the Social Value Network, visit or

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