NHS England | August 2019 | Finance, Commissioning and Contracting Handbook
NHS England have published the Finance, Commissioning and Contracting Handbook for the NHS England Comprehensive Model for Personalised Care. It aims to provide finance, commissioning and contracting staff with the information required to implement personalised care locally.
Voluntary and community organisations provide essential support for people’s mental health that complements what statutory services can offer, but financial pressures are putting them under severe strain, according to preliminary research published today by Centre for Mental Health
This document seeks to raise a number of questions and issues about the relationships between VCSE and statutory organisations in supporting people’s mental health and wellbeing. Many of these will require investigation in greater depth and further consideration to develop policy and practice changes where these are needed.
Arm in arm is based on interviews with both commissioners and providers of voluntary sector mental health support. It shows that commissioners in both local government and the NHS were keenly aware of the extra value that voluntary and community organisations can bring. Some commissioners had taken action specifically to support voluntary and community organisations to get funding and retain their distinctive approaches. But they were frustrated that competition for contracts often stopped organisations from working well together and could lead to come going out of business altogether.
The report finds that the deepest disagreements between commissioners and voluntary sector organisation often centred on monitoring and accountability. Commissioners need to know that public money was being well spent but most voluntary sector organisations don’t have the data collection capabilities of NHS trusts or larger private sector companies. Some had sought to resolve this through evaluation and qualitative evidence of impact rather than onerous outcome monitoring measures.
Social Care Institute for Excellence | June 2019 | Carers’ breaks: guidance for commissioners and providers
The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has released Carers’ breaks: guidance for commissioners and providers, which is designed to provide guidance for commissioners, providers and others involved in the planning, shaping and delivery of support for adult carers, primarily in England.
Among the report’s key messages are:
Almost half (46%) of carers have not had a break in the last five years
Breaks are essential – they make a real difference enabling carers to continue caring and to maintain their own health and wellbeing. They support positive relationships. Good breaks, as part of a range of support, help prevent ill-health, stress, isolation, crisis and breakdown.
Good commissioning will seek to understand diversity of needs, ensure co-production and facilitate partnerships with stakeholders and providers to develop a positive local breaks offer.
Carers need a genuine choice of breaks. Market shaping by commissioners and good business planning by providers – including diversifying services – can help deliver this choice. Flexible funding can help local groups and social enterprises to deliver tailored, innovative solutions and improve equality of access to breaks.
Review recommends that councils and the NHS work more closely to co-commission public health services, including health visiting and school nursing | Department of Health and Social Care
The review, conducted by the Department of Health and Social Care, recommends that the NHS work much more closely with local authorities on public health so that commissioning is more joined-up and prevention is embedded into a wider range of health services.
As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, the government committed to reviewing commissioning arrangements for some local authority-commissioned public health services.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that the departmental review found that local authorities take an active and efficient approach to commissioning services. He also praised local councils for their work in commissioning public health services and confirmed they will continue to lead on this important work.
He acknowledged that many local authorities have taken steps to improve and modernise the services they commission, including through digital delivery, such as online STI testing.
Public Health England | April 2019 | Audit and commissioning sexual health services
Public Health England (PHE) have produced guidance for commissioners on how audits can contribute to assuring both the quality of service provision and the continuous quality improvement in sexual health, reproductive health, and HIV(SH, RH & HIV) services.
Audit and commissioning sexual health services explains the difference between audit, service evaluation, research and quality improvement. The guidance highlights how audit results can be used to complement the monitoring of key performance
indicators in the contract. PHE also provide an overview of the currently available audit
resources as a starting point for both providers and commissioners of SH, RH & HIV
services to look at a more informative way of driving service improvement and
improving quality (Source: PHE).
NHS England | January 2019 | NHS Operational Planning and Contracting Guidance 2019/20
This is the full guidance, building on the first part published in December 2018. It accompanies five-year indicative CCG allocations and sets out the trust financial regime for 2019/20, alongside the service deliverables including those arising from year one of the Long Term Plan. CCGs and trusts should take action from April 2019 to begin implementing the measures set out in the LTP (Source: NHS England).