Adding Social Value with our Health Information Shops

Social Return On Investment (SROI)

In cooperation with the Social Enterprise Investment Fund (SEIF), an independent investigation was conducted to find out the level of social impact Health Information Shops were providing to key stakeholders, including those accessing the service, family members and GPs.

Health Information Shops aim to provide the people of Birmingham with the opportunity to ‘browse for information on health and lifestyle choices’ without the need for an appointment. Alongside information on health and wellbeing, Health Information Shops provide clients with access to ‘health supporters’ who guide them through the services available. These include Health Trainer programmes, which help people to develop and adopt healthier lifestyles, including support relating to:

  • being more active;
  • healthy eating;
  • losing weight;
  • stopping smoking; and
  • sensible drinking.

What we found

Overall, Health Exchange’s Health Information Shops may help to create up to £4.2million of social value each year. As a result of reductions in visits and prescriptions, findings indicate a £313 per client cost saving was achieved for GPs.

The investigation showed clients visiting Health Information Shops improved their physical health, increased their income, and reduced their social isolation, stress, and anxiety levels. This equates to an annual social impact of £3.7million. This has been attained by helping clients manage their long term conditions more effectively, involving family members in health-related discussions, and encouraging clients to be more physically active.

The family members of clients were also found to have been positively impacted upon. By accessing support at the Health Information Shop, relationships between clients and their family members often improved. Moreover, the knowledge and advice provided to clients also influenced family member’s diets and nutritional status. Combined, this represents a positive social impact of nearly £0.5million each year.

Health Exchange staff members benefitted by improving their own knowledge around health and wellbeing, citing enhanced physical and mental health. By reducing demand on NHS services, Health Exchange was able to improve the allocation of resources in the region of £55,000 per annum. This was achieved by reducing the number of GP appointments and prescriptions, increasing physical activity levels in Birmingham, reducing obesity prevalence levels, and preventing cases of smoking related diseases.

Focus group

Part of the journey in measuring the Health Information Shop service’s social impact was to find out what’s changed in former clients. During the focus groups, many clients indicated that the service helped improve their confidence, understanding of healthy eating, and their likelihood of engaging in physical activity.

Below are three comments left by respondents who were part of the focus group:

I’ve started going swimming, something that I haven’t done for years

I now control portion size. My children now eat bright coloured healthy vegetables

I have more energy and feel my lifestyle has improved

Customer satisfaction


Key statistics

  • 89% of respondents rated Health Exchange staff member’s professionalism as excellent.
  • 91% of people said Health Exchange highly adapted the service to meet their specific needs.
  • 91% of clients returning feedback considered the information they were provided to be excellent.

Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a simple tool used to measure customer satisfaction and indicate growth potential. Over the past six months, our Net Promoter Score has deviated between 68% and 88%. Many organisations consider a Net Promoter Score over 30% an indicator that clients would recommend the service they’ve accessed to family members and friends. Pleasingly, our score is well above this threshold and has risen month-on-month since June 2013. This demonstrates our commitment to delivering quality health services valued by local community members.


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