Social value describes the delivery of economic, social, and environmental benefits. It looks beyond financial gain to holistically improve the Quality of Life of our Service Users.
Developing social value initiatives builds deeper relationships with the people we work with, putting Service Users right at the heart of service delivery and promoting more resilient, connected communities.
“Social value is at the heart of everything we do at Millbrook Healthcare,” says Wendy Covell, Group People Director. “It is reflected in the values and behaviours of our colleagues and helps us make a positive contribution to the communities we work in. We are proud to make a difference to our service users’ lives and are focused on creating a diverse workplace where social responsibility is intrinsic in our way of working.”
What’s the value of social value?
Social value isn’t just about doing the right thing. It’s about creating real, measurable value through a systematic approach. Under the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, organisations have a legal obligation to consider economic, social, and environmental impact when procuring services.
We know that when we engage with communities and support their economic, social, and environmental development, we build a better understanding of what our Service Users need to live independent, safer, fulfilled lives.
Delivering social value
At Millbrook Healthcare, social value forms a fundamental part of service delivery. For each contract, we create a local Social Value Plan. Our Board sets and monitors social value commitments using the National TOMs Framework. Annual social value reports measure outcomes, making sure we meet our targets.
We measure our impact through feedback and Social Care Related Quality of Life scores, which tell us about Service User wellbeing as well as their individual medical outcomes.
Across our business, our social value activities include:
Community engagement. We proactively connect with local voluntary, community and faith groups who provide key insights about Service User groups. We partner with community outreach programmes and signpost people to befriending services like the Silver Line and Age UK to reduce isolation. Our ‘pop up’ assessment vehicle improves accessibility for rural communities.
Supporting charities. Through the ‘Millbrook Foundation’, we offer each colleague two paid days per year for voluntary work. During COVID-19, colleagues have volunteered at local vaccination centres. We also donated over 40,000 facemasks to local charities. We fundraise for local and national charities, hosting events like Macmillan Coffee mornings at our service centres. We also promote awareness of campaigns via social media.
Recycling. Our Environmental Policy sets out our commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible. We donate unwanted equipment to PhysioNet for global distribution. Mattresses are recycled into carpet underlay. Our initiatives help maintain our Zero Waste to Landfill award. During Recycle Week 2021 (20th – 26th September) we created a poster to celebrate and promote recycling which was shared company-wide.
Environmentally friendly premises. We turn off lights and appliances when not in use, and work with renewable energy providers. Printers only turn on when activated by motion sensors, reducing electricity use and saving between £3,312 and £9,040 annually.
Sustainable, ethical, local supply chain. We only work with suppliers who have strong sustainability policies and procedures. We use local SMEs for cleaning and vehicle maintenance. We source equipment and services from local suppliers. Our online Self-Assessment Tool signposts self-funders to local, accredited retailers for private purchase, supporting local economic development.
Local employment. We operate a ‘local first’ recruitment policy. We collaborate with local job centres, schools, and colleges to provide work experience for key groups, e.g., long term unemployed. This provides local jobs, ensures the local community is represented in our workforce, and increases employability.
Fair, representative recruitment. We’re a Disability Confident employer and equal opportunities employer. When recruiting new employees, we target under-represented groups to support diversity. For example, we’ve partnered with Helping Heroes to create a dedicated training academy for ex-service personnel. We support diversity through Equality and Diversity training and respecting cultural and religious holidays.
Colleague wellbeing. We pay all colleagues above the living wage. We invest in colleague wellbeing through our Employee Assistance Programme. We have Mental Health First Aiders across the company, and a company Doctor/Nurse. On our ‘Millbrook & Me’ platform, colleagues can access benefits and company discounts. Continued Professional Development is supported through our Learning and Development Fund, which covers the cost of courses to support career progression.
Reducing carbon emissions through travel reduction. Real-time driver monitoring software from Lightfoot has reduced our harmful emissions by 15%. All our vans meet Euro 6 emissions standards and are regularly serviced and maintained to optimise performance. We’re currently piloting electric vehicles and will introduce them to our fleet to improve air quality. Cycle-2-Work and car-pooling schemes further reduce travel. Our advanced routing and scheduling software combines activities, for example completing deliveries and collections in the same area during one journey, improving efficiency and lowering our environmental impact.
‘Digital first’ approach. Use of online tools like Microsoft Teams have reduced business mileage by 30%. Through this one measure alone, we expect to reduce carbon emissions by 580 tonnes CO2e.
If you want to find out more about how social value is positively impacting service delivery, you can contact us via our website or social media.