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new social value law could help make the case for co-production to commissioners

Social value is to become key part of public service contracts. The public services social value bill completed its final passage in the Lords yesterday (Tuesday 28th Feb). The bill will require public services for the first time to explicitly consider how the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of an area is going to be improved by the commissioning of a service.

The bill applies to all local authorities, government departments, NHS bodies and housing associations in England and Wales.

Full story is on the guardian site here

nef has worked with a number of local authorities to support them to commission for outcomes across the triple bottom line (social, environmental and economic) and to explicitly build in co-production as a method for service delivery. There's a bit written about it on the Think Local, Act Personal website here

This requires the commissioner to move away from activity focussed commissioning and towards a model which places the emphasis on the core principles behind the activities and the outcomes they acheive. Co-production can help to connect public services with valuable community-based resources and open up opportunities for improving outcomes without increasing costs. It can help to build a preventative, person-centred and personalised approach to meeting needs. It can create sustainable change by developing and supporting local groups and networks. 

But in order to make a truly constructive impact, it must move out of the margins and into the mainstream of public service design and delivery. I'm hoping that the new bill will prove to be another positive lever that helps us to do this.

What do you think? 

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