Building high-quality commissioning: what role can external organisations play?

This content relates to the following topics:

What did we do in this project?

The final report from this project was published in July 2010: Building high-quality commissioning: What role can external organisations play?

The final report provides commentary and recommendations for policy-makers and commissioners on the use of external support for commissioning in the NHS.

The research involved three main elements:

  • two national surveys of primary care trusts
  • focus groups with firms providing commissioning support services to the NHS
  • case studies of NHS organisations that have used external support for commissioning.

Related: Building world class commissioning: what role can external organisations play?

Why are we interested in this project?

Increasing emphasis is being placed on the role that commissioning can play in improving health services. Commissioning is a multi-faceted process that aims to ensure that the purchasing of services on behalf of a population is based on an analysis of local health needs.

Primary care trusts are increasingly turning to external organisations to provide specialist skills, for example in data analysis and in the financial and management skills needed in the commissioning process.

We wanted to explore the role and impact that external organisations providing commissioning support services have had so far, and might have in the future.