Paediatric critical care and surgery in children review: Summary report

NHS England | November  2019 | Paediatric critical care and surgery in children review: Summary report

NHS England has summary report of the national review into paediatric critical care and specialised surgery in children, which took place in October 2016. The aims of the review were to ensure that services are sustainable and fit for the future, and to reduce any variation in the care being provided.



Finance, Commissioning and Contracting Handbook

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.

Finance, Commissioning and Contracting Handbook

The relationships between statutory and voluntary sector mental health organisations

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.

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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.

Full report: Arm in arm: the relationships between statutory and voluntary sector mental health organisations | The Centre for Mental Health

See also: Centre for Mental Health press release

Carers’ breaks: guidance for commissioners and providers

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.
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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.

Read the publication online from SCIE 

Local authorities will continue to commission public health services

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.

Full story at Department of Health and Social Care


Audit and commissioning sexual health services

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).

Audit and commissioning sexual health services