This report is about how the voluntary and independent sectors can support the commissioning process, and is aimed at them, the clinical commissioning groups, and the commissioning support units.
The key required commissioning support elements, as described in Figure 1 of this report, include:
- Health needs assessment, using the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and existing data, and identifying gaps.
- Business intelligence, gathered by collecting and analysing patient data, experience and outcomes.
- Re-design of local services and pathways, involving not just the health and social care professionals and managers, but also patients and carers.
- Communication, engagement, and involvement, with all the key stakeholders, and in particular patients and carers.
- Procurement, including “identifying best value providers”, the tendering process, negotiation, and contract management.
- Provider management, which involves making sure that the services are delivered to the standards set out.
Commissioning support is already provided by the voluntary sector, but only on a “pro bono basis.” So, a more formal structure is required. This report sets out the current situation with commissioning, and then details recommendations to voluntary sector organisations, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Clinical Support Units (CSUs), and NHS England. It includes an overview of current spending and planned expenditure, and a description of how outsourcing takes place. In particular, the voluntary sector can provide expertise and value in the following areas:
- Needs assessment
- Business intelligence
- Service re-design
- Public and patient engagement.
The report is useful because it includes eleven, relevant case studies of how independent organisations are working to support commissioning and the achievement of strategic aims, such as:
- QIPP (Quality, Innovation, Productivity, Prevention)
- Emergency care
- Round the clock care
- Dealing with provider failure
- Delivering the recommendations presented at the Francis Inquiry.
There are useful links to more resources and plenty of guidance on dealing with challenges to make these partnerships a success.
The recommendations are neatly broken down by audience. So think about where your organisation lies within the audience and then see what the report suggests as your recommendations. If you are a voluntary/independent organisation, think of what you can offer your local CCGs and CSUs ways, and how to sustain relationships with them. Do you have a clear idea of what services you can offer? Are there people you know within these organisations that you can start conversations with? CSUs and CCGs should think in broader terms and not just look within the local health environment for support, but also externally, at charities, and other independent organisations, particularly those involved in social care. Perhaps within your teams, you could carry out a network analysis to see which organisations you are already in contact with and what they could offer you and start off building links that way. This will help make the service more integrated efficient and in the long-term will help improve the whole health and social care experience for patients, carers, and staff.
Role of the voluntary sector in providing commissioning support (PDF)