H5 - Pooled Budgets Toolkit
Draft December 2006

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   7 - Pooled Resources

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

This stage of the commissioning process can become a catalyst for real change. The complex issues relating to fund-holding ‘power’, disjointed planning cycles and the inbuilt tension as to ‘who should pay’ are ones that, if resolved, can transform the ways in which decisions are made and services provided.


Even then there will be practical issues to overcome relating to legal agreements, governance, accountability, recovery procedures for overspends, management and administrative systems and the need to challenge mindsets ‘on the ground’ as well as in the boardrooms.


1. Consider, for each relevant population, whether pooled, aligned or integrated budgets will help to achieve the objectives of the commissioning strategy

  • for example align budgets to accelerate the development of pooled budgets
  • pooling arrangements can be based on section 28a of the NHS Act 1977, section 31 of the Health Act 1999 flexibilities, or section 10 of the Children Act 2004

2. Consider what arrangements currently exist for shared resources and how they might be better managed between agencies

  • Local Area Agreements bring together all LA and some health budgets
  • A single pot makes it easier for non-specific area based resources, such as Neighbourhood Renewal Funding to add value.
  • Link to financial strategy within the CYPP
  • Look to align planning and budgetary cycles

3. Make a clear statement in your commissioning strategy how you will manage budgets between commissioning agencies and, if appropriate develop a clear pooling agreement

  • to strengthen relationships, bring together funding streams and join up services.
  • pooled resources ensure that the children’s trust is focusing on meeting the needs of the child or young person, rather than discussing who should pay.

DH & DfES guidance:

“Develop and extend joint commissioning from pooled budgets and pooled resources.”

  • Support the 2.5% efficiency gains to be made year on year.
  • Provide additional opportunities for freedoms and flexibilities within LAAs.
  • Information exchange between commissioners around emerging practice, success factors and issues relating to pooling of budgets.

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?

Leicestershire, Rutland and Leicester City pool budgets as part of their common commissioning strategy for the work of the DAAT (Drugs and Alcohol Action Teams)