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Dental practices — a guide to social value in compliance and tendering

AuthorsHewi Ma

3 min read

Dental practices a guide to social value in compliance and tendering

The relevance of social value has increased significantly under the CQC’s single assessment framework, affecting the way that dental practices operate day-to-day.

Influencing areas as diverse as staff recruitment, retention, mental health welfare, tendering and CQC compliance, many practice owners may see this as an added hindrance on top of the usual mountain of regulatory compliance.

Yet for many, a focus on social value will unlock new opportunities — including when tendering for NHS dental contracts. Here, our Legal Director Hewi Ma and Emma Childs, a Director at Ascend Tendering, reveal what practice owners need to do to take a proactive approach to social value.


What is ‘social value’?

Social value refers to the wellbeing of individuals and communities, the environment and social capital (the wider financial and non-financial impacts of programmes, organisations and interventions).

It’s likely that many practice owners already apply social value practices without even thinking about it — training days, wellbeing checks, community oral health open days, charitable giving and environmentally sustainable principles are just a few examples.

With practices still struggling to recruit and maintain staff, adopting social value principles and considering the treatment of people and planet alongside profit as measures of success can make a workplace more attractive.


Social value in the CQC single assessment framework

As the CQC transitions to the single assessment framework, it’s anticipated that there will be a greater focus on how practices approach social value. Proactive practice owners who look to get ahead of the curve will be best-placed to take advantage.

Following a strong social value framework is important, supported by appropriate policies and procedures to recruit and retain top clinical and non-clinical staff. From a compliance perspective, implementing workforce and clinical leadership structures falls under the ‘well-led’ CQC Key Lines of Enquiry.

The longer-term benefit is that having a highly motivated team and great working culture is great for the reputation of your practice, which can in turn increase the number of registered patients.


Social value in tenders

When tendering for NHS dental contracts, social value is now worth up to 10% of the total marks. Evaluators are looking for a preferred bidder to demonstrate how they will improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of a specific local population.

If you plan to tender for a contract, it’s important to demonstrate how your organisation will take a proactive approach to social value throughout the life of the contract.

For example, where the environment is concerned, evaluators will want to hear how you will reduce clinical waste, deploy LED lighting, source sustainable goods and adopt a more ethical supply chain.


What dental practice owners need to do

All practice owners should review their policies and procedures to ensure that they’re up to date and contain any actions implemented around social value.

Even more important is to ensure that your team understands and abides by these policies.  Consider working with your team and patients to understand what is important to them. A collective decision will have a greater effect.


Talk to us

If you need advice on compliance, inspections or tendering, we can help.

As a certified B Corp, we’re well-placed to assist dental practices with implementing social value practices.

Our work with Ascend Tendering — a nationwide management consultancy with extensive experience in tendering for contracts and supporting on CQC compliance — enables us to provide practical steps and guidance.


Talk to us by completing our contact form below.