NHS Cheshire and Merseyside first recipient of new UK-wide social value award

Text reads "SVQM Bronze Health"
Text reads "SVQM Bronze Health"

NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, the integrated care board for the region, has become the first organisation in the UK to receive a new award for social value in health.

The Social Value Quality Mark: Health Award launched in November 2023 through a partnership with the Social Value Quality Mark CIC and NHS Arden and GEM Commissioning Support Unit. The Bronze Award recognises the efforts that the organisation is making towards achieving its social value goals and its ambition to involve the whole health and care system in Cheshire and Merseyside.

NHS Cheshire and Merseyside’s definition of social value encompasses the good that the organisation can achieve within its communities, related to environmental, economic and social factors.

In 2022, NHS Cheshire and Merseyside launched its Anchor Framework to bring NHS, Local Authorities and Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise sector (VCFSE) organisations together to explore how social value can be practically and effectively embedded across the region; working together to reduce health inequalities and improve health and wellbeing.

The principles of the Framework include paying the real living wage, purchasing locally and for social benefit, using buildings and spaces to support communities, widening access to quality work, working more closely with local partners and reducing environmental impact.

Dave Sweeney, Associate Director of Partnerships and Sustainability for NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, said:


“We are very proud that our efforts and commitment to social value have been recognised with the first Social Value Quality Mark: Health Award. It is testament to the collaborative working which is so important to NHS Cheshire and Merseyside and its communities.

“Our approach to social value has included establishing business and industry partners as Anchor Institutions, in order to build opportunities locally.

“We have established a charter setting out our vision and principles for maximising the potential of social value across Cheshire and Merseyside, and 21 organisations have already signed up to the charter, including our most recent partners: Everton in the Community. We look forward to welcoming more partners in the future.”

Richard Dickins, MD, Social Value Quality Mark CIC said:


“We launched the SVQM Health Award to distinguish healthcare organisations like NHS Cheshire and Merseyside for the highest standards of ethics, fairness and sustainability. We delighted to accredit them as our first – and very deserving – Bronze awardees. They are demonstrating a meaningful commitment to a more equal and integrated system.”

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


“We are delighted to see NHS Cheshire and Merseyside become the first organisation to achieve Bronze Level of the dedicated Health Award for social value. Prioritising social value can play a vital role in delivering improvements that really matter to local communities, such as care quality and access, while supporting the NHS to address inequalities in society and meet its net zero ambitions.

“Recognising the achievements of NHS Cheshire and Merseyside not only celebrates the progress they have made but also helps share learning and best practice with other organisations in the health sector.”