Social Value Engine

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Case study: Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Interview with Mark Platts, Director of Finance, Digital & Estates

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for providing mental health services in Lincolnshire. Before their involvement with the Social Value Engine, the Trust faced challenges in quantifying the wider benefits of their capital programs. Traditional NHS metrics, primarily focused on quantifiable health outcomes and operational efficiency, were insufficient for capturing the broader, more nuanced impacts of their mental health services.

This gap was especially evident in the context of capital programs like the eradication of dormitories, which were more about improving the living conditions and overall well-being of patients rather than expanding capacity or generating direct financial returns.

Mark Platts, Director of Finance, Digital & Estates, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

The Role of the Social Value Engine

In this challenging scenario, the Trust, under the leadership of Mark Platts, Director of Finance, Digital & Estates, recognised the need for a more holistic approach to assess and articulate the value of its programs. The Social Value Engine emerged as a pivotal tool in this context, enabling the Trust to adopt a more comprehensive perspective.

"With a lot of project schemes, it's important to be able to quantify the wider benefits of doing them...measuring the ability to give people a better quality of life ultimately. The metrics that are traditional within business case and project assessments are not always conducive to measuring that quality of life. The Social Value Engine can really bring this to life and start to quantify it. "

The incorporation of the Social Value Engine marked a shift in the Trust’s approach, moving away from conventional, limited metrics and towards a more inclusive and reflective evaluation of their services. This shift was not only a strategic choice but also a response to the evolving landscape of healthcare, where the importance of social value and patient-centric care is increasingly recognised.

Benefits

By using the Engine, the Trust was able to think differently and consider the wider impacts of its projects. The Social Value Engine provided external references and evidence-based approaches to support the Trust’s business cases. This has made a significant difference in their bid for funding.

"The benefits of using the Social Value Engine are evident, as it has already prompted our project teams to think differently. It encourages deeper consideration of the potential benefits and the evidence needed to support these in business cases. This shift in thinking, especially in changing established mindsets, is often a significant hurdle. The Engine has fostered collaboration among different teams, including finance, clinicians, and project managers, along with the SVE team, adopting a new approach. This collaborative effort has been very successful, transforming the Engine from a solitary tool into a dynamic, integral part of our project development, bringing everything to life.”

Lessons learned

Through their experience with the Social Value Engine, the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has learned several valuable lessons. These include:

  • Investment of time: Applying social value is not a quick fix and requires both financial and time investment.
  • Cultural shift: Embedding social value into the trust’s culture takes time and effort.
  • Thinking bigger picture: The Engine has forced the Trust to consider outcomes rather than just outputs, leading to a more holistic approach to project development.
  • Long-term commitment: The trust recognises the importance of continuing to use the Social Value Engine and plans to integrate it into its organisational processes.

"It's not a quick fix. You have got to invest as much time as finances to make it work. It takes time to get it right to ensure everyone's invested in it."

Conclusion

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust plans to further develop their use of the Social Value Engine. They aim to apply it to future developments and explore its potential in primary care. Additionally, the Trust intends to review options around leveraging the Engine’s capabilities in procurement processes, as social value becomes increasingly important in national procurement requirements.

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s experience with the Social Value Engine has been highly successful. By quantifying the social value and economic benefits of their capital programs, the Trust has been able to secure funding and improve the quality of care for their patients.

The Engine has facilitated a culture shift within the Trust and encouraged a collaborative approach to project development. Moving forward, the Trust plans to continue using the Social Value Engine and integrate it into its existing processes.

Social Value Engine
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