NPC Archive Item: Transforming Community Services and World Class Commissioning

NOTE – This is an archive post from the NPC and has not been updated since first publication. Therefore, some hyperlinks may no longer be working.

NPC Logo

Published in January 2009 by the Department of Health, Transforming community services and world class commissioning: resource pack for commissioners of community services sets out basic principles for commissioning effective and responsive community services.

What is the background to this?
High Quality Care for all: NHS Next Stage Review final report defines quality as spanning three areas: patient safety, patient experience and the effectiveness of care. This requires transformational change – by clinicians and other frontline staff, by the organisations providing community services and by commissioners.

NHS investment alone in community services is approximately £10billion a year and, with Local Authority expenditure, such a substantial amount of money must continually seek to drive up quality, promote personalised care outside of hospital, offer choice and provide modern services.  The Next Stage Review Primary and Community Care Strategy set out the vision for modern, responsive, high quality community services that give patients greater choice and personalisation and improve access to an integrated range of services. The Transforming Community Services Programme has been set-up to help deliver this vision.

Transforming Community Services and World Class Commissioning: resource pack for commissioners of community services aims to help support clinicians and staff to increase their skills and knowledge to innovate, deliver high quality care and lead transformational change. It sets out the principles of good practice when commissioning community services, showcases examples of existing good practice through case studies in 6 clinical areas (promoting health and well being and reducing inequalities, services for children and families, acute services closer to home, long-term conditions, rehabilitation and long term neurological conditions, and end of life care) and signposts commissioners to the most pertinent and relevant information. The resource pack also includes a route map to help guide commissioners through the process by building on three main foundations:

  • The World Class Commissioning competences
  • The commissioning cycle
  • Effective health and care pathways
What does this mean to medicines management?
There are useful examples of good practice in each of the 6 core service areas themed in the resource pack, which can lead to shared improvements that result in improved medicines management. The resource pack can be used to help support and encourage future work in and around medicines management within community care brought about by effective commissioning.

How does this relate to other publications or evidence?
The world class commissioning programme is intended to transform the way health and care services are commissioned by delivering a more strategic and long-term approach to commissioning services, with a clear focus on delivering improved health outcomes. This resource pack makes reference to the competencies set out in the World Class Commissioning documents and the commissioning cycle.

Creating Healthier Communities – a resource pack for local partnerships, published in 2005, is a practical guide which seeks to help drive forward local health improvement and tackle health inequalities. Similar to transforming community services through effective world class commissioning it requires the involvement of effective partnership working at the national level to front line staff.

The NPC has recently published, a guide for all NHS managers, entitled ‘What you need to know about prescribing, the ‘drugs bill’ and medicines management. This document is intended to be a readily accessible quick reference guide, which will enable all NHS managers to gain an understanding of the fundamentals of medicine use. It provides a basic understanding of how medicines are managed and regulated throughout the NHS to ensure safe, effective and cost effective usage. In addition, it highlights areas in which managers should be working with colleagues involved in prescribing and medicines management within their own, and partner organisations.

The resource pack is intended for commissioners of community services within PCTs including practice based commissioning and commissioners in Local Authorities. Commissioners should make use of this document to help them secure transformational change in community services, and ensure that medicines management services are appropriately considered.

Please comment on this blog in the NPC discussion rooms, or using our feedback form.