G1 - Commissioning Strategy Template
Model template from IPC Dec 2006

G17 - Service Specification
A model for consideration

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   6 - Commission Effectively

  • - Did you know?
  • - Guidance
  • - Regional Benefits
  • - Commissioning principles in action -

1. Develop joint commissioning plans for specific populations to:
  • bring together the needs assessment, user participation, priorities, service mapping, resource identification, market development and management, workforce strategy, prevention and early intervention
  • describe how the CYPP will be delivered through the Children’s Trust arrangements and others’ commissioning functions
  • Micro-commissioning should be designed into the joint commissioning strategy;
  • both professionals and direct payment recipients should receive support and strategic guidance from a joint commissioning unit
 2. Consider developing a single joint commissioning unit:
  • made up of several teams across sectors
  • involving corporate procurement functions where relevant
  • ensuring specialist services for acute needs are linked in coherently
  • The joint commissioning unit needs to bring together diverse sectors and be inclusive of different approaches, working to the CT Board, adopting a common language and methods
  • Corporate procurement teams, finance, legal and other support functions should be seen as part of the joint commissioning unit.
  • commissioners must ensure that approaches are compatible with EU and UK law, regulations and guidance
 3. Consider where it makes sense to have combined strategies with neighbours and partners
  • co-operation across sub-regions can help manage the market, develop specialist providers, make best use of scarce skills and meet high cost/low incidence needs
  • young people move readily across local boundaries
  • GP surgery catchment areas often straddle boundaries.
 4. Develop early intervention and preventative services:
  • To reduce expensive ‘crisis management’ and improve the lives of children and young people
  • For each tier of targeted services, as well as universal services to pre-empt the escalation of needs.
  5. Adopt robust procurement approaches to ensure efficient and effective services:
  • these include : partnership building with providers, competitive tendering, include full costs, use risk and race impact;  support smaller providers; flexible  long term contracts; policies for breach of contract; robust monitoring arrangements; contracts based on outcomes
  • different methods of procurement may be appropriate in different sectors eg NHS standards and national tariff.
  • If a service continues to fail the children’s trust will need to consider decommissioning the service
  • all decommissioning decisions should be supported by consultation and plans for service transition.
 6. Follow the ‘Compact’ and ‘Small Business Concordat’ (see below)
  1. to help develop relations with a range of market providers including voluntary and community sectors, small and medium enterprises and social enterprise models
  2. Special attention should be paid to the commissioning relationship with colleges, schools, school trusts and clusters of schools
  3. Services will be located in and/or provided by a school or cluster of schools where this is most efficient and effective

The Compact is the agreement between government and the voluntary and community sector in England to improve their relationship for mutual advantage.

The Small Business Friendly Concordat is a voluntary code of practice which sets out what small firms (including third sector suppliers) can expect when tendering for Local Authority contracts.

DH & DfES guidance:


“Decide together how best to deliver outcomes, including drawing in alternative providers to widen options and increase efficiency.”
  • Common approaches adopted by partner authorities to create greater consistency for providers.
  • Co-operation across sub-regions to help manage the market, develop specialist providers, make best use of scarce skills and meet high cost – low incidence needs.
  • Address the issues of ‘catchments’ that straddle boundaries, eg GP surgery areas, young people’s movements, school mobility.
  • Cross regional procedures for monitoring the cost and quality of placements and challenging exceptional fee increases.

Commissioning principles in action

User's needs first Strategic leadship Early intervention Partnership work People with skills Long-term view Work with providers Continuous evaluation Spend wisely Open Process
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Did you know?

There is a well established Children’s Palliative Care Commissioning Group that supports and promotes effective commissioning of palliative care for children and young people with life-limiting conditions.