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  • 6 minutes
  • 26/03/2024

From care to community: How the 0-25 Family Health Service went above and beyond to deliver Social Value

Can the health and social care sector deliver additional Social Value to communities? We worked with Durham County Council and Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust to embed Social Value in the 0-25 Family Health Service - with inspiring results.

Social Value requirements have been embedded into procurement across many sectors. Health and social care contracts, however, are at an early stage of Social Value adoption, with huge room for growth.

The 0-25 Family Health Service has shown just how much additional Social Value can be delivered in the health and social care space, with the right strategy.

Read on to learn how this programme, commissioned by our member Durham County Council, set a new standard for the sector.

What is the County Durham 0-25 Family Health Service?

Delivered by Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust’s (HDFT), the 0-25 Family Health Service brings together family health visitors, specialist public health nurses, family health practitioners, emotional resilience nurses, and support staff. These experts provide targeted prevention and early intervention support during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence.

The programme supports young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), as well as those transitioning from care to independence up to the age of 25, covering various aspects of physical, emotional, and social wellbeing.

Uncovering Social Value opportunities in health and social care

To qualify as ‘Social Value’, an activity must be ‘additional’ – meaning that it surpasses core contract requirements.

Of course, health and social care contracts often inherently benefit the community through their primary services. It’s important, therefore, to be able to distinguish core contract requirements from additional Social Value.

But Social Value isn’t just about what you do – it’s also about how you do it. The Social Value success of the 0-25 Family Health Service hinged on the trust’s ability to find opportunities within its operating model.

Sue Duggan, Transformation Manager at HDFT, said:

Having Social Value embedded in our service encourages us to always consider supporting small local independent businesses during procurement processes and connecting with community projects to offer advice and support.

Here are some of the various Social Value key performance indicators (KPIs) the team tracked:

  • Spend with MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises) and VCSEs (Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise)
  • Volunteer and expert hours
  • Community, charity, and staff support

By adopting approaches such as these, HDFT was able to deliver additional benefits to the community – in a sustainable, cost-effective way.

Measuring success with the Social Value TOM System™

Since commencing in 2020, the ongoing 0-25 Family Health Service contract has delivered an incredible Social Value impact on County Durham. This has included numerous tangible benefits for communities and individuals, such as:

  • 75 local direct employees retained on contract via TUPE transfers
  • 64 local full time and 61 part time local employees hired and retained
  • Nearly 700 weeks of meaningful work placements and pre-employment courses
  • 282 weeks of training opportunities

The team used the Social Value TOM System™ to identify opportunities and measure impact. Composed of Themes, Outcomes and Measures, the TOM System provides a structured approach to delivering positive impact:

Social Value TOM System

Maria Clarke, a Community Anchor at HDFT, commented:

The TOM System helped us to understand what the service could do in order to deliver more additional Social Value and influenced our approach in the right direction.

Real impact for local people: The Youth Practitioners Service

The true measure of Social Value success is positive impact on communities, and the 0-25 Family Health Service project has delivered this in spades.

One example is the Youth Practitioners Service, which combats social isolation in young people aged 11-19 (or 11-25 in the cases of SEND individuals) – and has proved to be a key means of delivering local Social Value.

As part of the programme, the trust gives young people struggling with mainstream education the opportunity to work on a local allotment in a deprived area. This initiative is funded through external grants, and most of this money is spent with local businesses, while excess produce is donated to local soup kitchens.

The result is a truly sustainable model that benefits the participants, the community, and the trust too, which has secured additional funding off the back of the project.

Here’s what the participants had to say:

I don’t have a garden so I’m learning lots of new things.


It helps to calm me down and not be angry.


I’m learning things that will help me get a job.

Users of the Youth Practitioners Service

All of the pupils that attend sessions thrive in the environment as it is practical, and it is an area they can excel in. They were very proud of the fact that they were able to help the local food bank by donating food that they grew and their families by taking it home for them as well.

Head of Year and PE teacher at local school

How Social Value Portal supported the service

The success of the 0-25 Family Health Service’s Social Value initiatives relied on close collaboration between Durham County Council, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, and Social Value Portal.

Debbie Howe, Social Value Advisor at Social Value Portal, was embedded with Durham County Council. She provided on-the-ground support with delivering the Social Value elements of the contract, reporting initiatives on the platform, and using the TOM System.

Regarding the partnership, Maria said:

Debbie has been integral to what we have achieved. She’s helped us streamline the information gathering process and capture the Social Value we were creating with key Measures like ‘Local people employed and retained’.

Having played a pivotal role in delivering Social Value to the local community through a health and social care contract, Maria had some words of advice to others in the space looking to follow suit:

If you want to deliver Social Value, keep on top of the data, and the evidence. Make sure you are reviewing it regularly to see where you can improve, and build a good working relationship with a Social Value expert.

Ready to kickstart your Social Value journey?

To learn more about the pioneering 0-25 Family Health Service, check out Durham County Council’s guide to children’s health services.

And if you’d like to learn how Social Value Portal can help you or your suppliers to deliver more good to local communities, just book a meeting with one of our experts.