New research shows how outcomes contracts can save the NHS

New research released today shows the unrivalled value that outcomes-based commissioning has in keeping UK citizens healthy and reducing strain on the National Health Service (NHS).

The independent report, produced by ATQ Consultants for Better Society Capital, demonstrates that social outcomes contracts – a method of public service delivery which enables prevention – have created nearly £9 of public value for every £1 spent – saving the taxpayer £507 million in fiscal value alone.

At a time where NHS resources are stretched and funding is stagnating, the UK’s leading social impact investor is arguing that the adoption of outcomes contracting can help the country spend significantly less on treating preventable conditions, with healthcare currently the single most expensive policy area and at the forefront of voters’ minds.

In health alone, the report shows that outcomes contracts have reduced demand on the health service equating to a total saving of £128.6 million at a corresponding cost to the commissioner of just £26.63 million.

This renewed focus comes just a few weeks after former Prime Minister Gordon Brown lent his voice to calling for outcomes-based commissioning, suggesting that the government should announce a £1 billion children’s social impact bond that would be focused on reducing poverty.

The 18 outcomes contracts designed to improve child and family welfare have created even stronger impact with over £10 in public value for every £1 spent by government.
This represents a taxpayer saving of £230.7 million.

Aman Johal, Managing Director, Better Society Capital said: “This research proves what we have known from individual projects – these contracts not only deliver meaningful change in communities and prevent social problems where complex needs exist, but also save the taxpayer considerable money.

“The next government has the opportunity to safely transform key areas of public services with trustworthy delivery partners, who not only know their local communities but also operate with no up-front cost.

“Furthermore, this is an approach that is highly measured compared to other types of commissioning, which can provide new data and evidence to support overall public service reform.”

The outcomes contract model’s ability to focus on prevention can help to identify those at risk of long-term health conditions and helps them minimise that risk.

This reduces strain on the NHS and other services leading to a healthier population, higher levels of wellbeing and better running services for those who desperately need them.

For example, community-led service Thrive worked with 1,500 people in north-east Lincolnshire, succeeded in reducing hospital attendance and costs by 35 per cent, while also reducing GP usage by 11 per cent.

Thrive is one of the social prescribing programmes supported by Better Society Capital and delivered by Bridges Outcomes Partnerships – which have supported 66 outcomes partnerships across the UK.
Wider Impacts

In the largest study of outcomes contracting to date, the ATQ Consultants analysis also looks at the wider impacts of this solution in tackling other issues spanning homelessness to unemployment.

Overall, the report shows that outcomes-commissioned projects have generated £1.9 billion of total value to the taxpayer, including through positive improvements to society like improved health, reduced crime or helping people with mental health issues into work.

This value was generated at a cost to government of £217 million– a cost:benefit ratio of 1:8.59, without compromising service quality and supporting individuals with complex needs.

Outcomes contracts are a method of service delivery which channels socially motivated investment into social sector organisations to provide public services that tackle issues ranging from homelessness to youth unemployment.

In contrast to traditionally run public services, these require no cost to government until pre-agreed delivery outcomes are met, while local expert charities and social enterprises deliver the services.

These contracts regularly implement prevention strategies, which aim to reduce future risk of social problems and lessen the need for future healthcare and other forms of government support.

About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4482 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is a professional writer and the owner of Need to See IT Publishing. However, Lisa is also passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing, being a qualified Vibrational Therapist. Lisa also has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.