Commissioning in the NHS is the process of ensuring that the health and care services provided effectively meet the needs of the population. It is a complex process with responsibilities ranging from assessing population needs, prioritising health outcomes, procuring products and services, and managing service providers.

Our commissioning Blogs

NHS Confederation publish definitions for mental health services


In mental health there has not been a consistent set of definitions that describe what is meant by an inpatient bed. This has led to difficulty in benchmarking and understanding patterns of performance. Understanding how inpatient beds and community services can best be utilised as part of a reshaped pathway, and whether the number of [read the full story…]

New DH atlas of variation includes prescriptions of anti-dementia drugs and admissions for child mental health disorders

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The second issue of the NHS Atlas of Variation in Healthcare has been published by the Department of Health as part of the QIPP (Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention) programme. The aim of the Atlas is to reduce unwarranted variation in healthcare, increase value for money and improve quality of care. The idea behind this [read the full story…]

Payment by results and personalisation may undermine each other, according to new report


There is a risk that the new national NHS systems for payment by results are being developed in ways that will clash with the delivery of personalisation, according to a new discussion document published this week by the National Development Team for Inclusion. The report describes how, if the aims of both the payment by [read the full story…]

No evidence that exercise referral schemes can increase physical activity, fitness or health outcomes for those with a medical diagnosis


We know that exercise helps people who are going through mental health difficulties, but how can we encourage people to become more active? Exercise referral schemes aim to identify inactive adults in the primary care setting. The GP or healthcare professional then refers the patient to a third-party service, with this service taking responsibility for [read the full story…]

Seven principles of better adoption of evidence in practice, from new MeReC bulletin


The most recent MeReC Bulletin (December 2011) considers the problem of the implementation gap: the best evidence often does not get adopted quickly into practice. It highlights relevant evidence and ideas from educational theory, decision-making theory, information management and implementation science and brings them together in one place. It is intended to encourage a fresh [read the full story…]

Clinical commissioning needs input from specialist doctors, says new NHS Alliance discussion paper


Policy on the role of specialist doctors in the NHS reforms is not fit for purpose, according to a discussion paper published today by the NHS Alliance. Specialists in Commissioning: Looking beyond current policy discusses the views of GPs and specialists on current policy on specialists in Clinical Commissioning Groups. The paper calls for policy [read the full story…]

Joining up health and social care: new report from the Audit Commission


The Audit Commission have published the second in a series of briefings looking at adult social care. At a time when the whole of the public sector must find significant savings, the report says that integrated working across health and social care offers opportunities for efficiencies and improvements to services. Without it, there is a [read the full story…]

Moving towards evidence-based drug policy: new paper in the Lancet


Evidence-based drug policy is a phrase you don’t read that often. Many searches for this phrase return articles that explore why we don’t have evidence-based policies for illicit drugs and why the evidence base is weak in this area. A group of international researchers and policy makers (including two UK-based professionals) are trying to buck [read the full story…]

New report from the Alzheimer’s Society makes recommendations for the commissioning of dementia services


Mental health commissioners will be interested in this new report from the Alzheimer’s Society and MHP Health Mandate, that was published just before Christmas.  It follows on from the publication of the Department of Health’s Dementia Commissioning Pack back in July 2011. The report looks at the current policy landscape and how it relates to [read the full story…]

NICE publish guidance on how to make adult mental health care a ‘good experience’ for people

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Adult mental health services in the NHS should be improved to provide person-centred care that tackles the stigma associated with mental illness, says NICE. People with mental health issues should have access to mental health services when they need them, and should be actively involved in shared decision-making and supported in self-management. This latest NICE [read the full story…]