Health and Social Care

Joint Strategic Commissioning – what’s it all about?

October 28, 2014 by No Comments | Category Strategic Commissioning

A recent event entitled ‘Preparing for integration – developing your strategic plan‘ was held on October 8, 2014, focusing on the analysis required for Integration Authorities to develop their Joint Strategic Commissioning plans in 2015-16.

Key stakeholders taking part were asked why they felt this was so important. This is what they said…

Peter Macleod, Director of Social Work at Renfrewshire Council

‘Strategic Commissioning is the fulcrum around which the future planning and aspirations of the local partnerships to meet theoutcomes of the local populace will be set. Thorough analysis of joint strategic needs can identify population need, meaning services can be reshaped to meet needs more closely now and in the future.That gives services, in partnership with service providers, the space to innovate and inspire and to more effectively target resources at prevention.’

Allan Gunning, Director for Strategic Planning, Policy and Performance at NHS Ayrshire & Arran

‘Integration is about improving outcomes and tackling the disconnects that exist within health and between health and social care.  Strategic commissioning provides a robust, coherent cross-system methodology for identifying the priorities for change in support of this.  Its cyclical nature – analyse, plan, do, review – will bring the strategic plan to life.

‘A co-production approach will be essential to effective strategic commissioning and finding common ground among the stakeholders on changes which need to be made will be central to the success of integration.  Strategic commissioning gives a process for finding this common ground,  a methodology for ensuring it is established on a solid foundation and links the agreed changes to improved outcomes.

‘Over time, integration must be built on more mature relationships and transparency between all stakeholders.  Strategic commissioning will be a critical part of the scaffolding which will support this movement and that is ultimately why it is so important.’

Annie Gunner Logan, Director, Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland

‘Traditionally the starting point for forward planning for many of us is to consider what we’ve already got and then look at how to preserve, sustain or increase it. Joint strategic commissioning enables us – indeed expects us – to start somewhere else and ask a different set of questions:

  • What exactly are we trying to achieve, and for whom?
  • How successful have we been?
  • What do we need to do differently for a better result, and how are we going to resource that?

‘The fact that we’re also expected to do this collaboratively with those organisations, groups and people directly affected by our planning activity, but who have previously had little or no direct influence in relation to it adds to the challenge, but potentially makes success more likely for all of us.

‘From a third sector perspective, it’s the first time that there has been an explicit expectation that we are partners in this endeavour, rather than simply suppliers, interest groups or consultees and crucially, that this offer of partnership extends to the people for whom we provide care and support.’

Professor Cam Donaldson, Yunus Chair in Social Business & Health, Glasgow Caledonian University

‘If we believe that Health and Social Care Partnerships will be able to meet all resource claims placed upon them, then strategic commissioning is crucial for ensuring that needs are met efficiently and equitably.

‘The development of robust processes will be required in order to defend the shift in resources implied by reshaping the balance of care. Partnerships are well placed to do this but it can only happen in any significant way with sound strategic commissioning.’

Ron Culley, Chief Officer, Health & Wellbeing at CoSLA

‘Strategic commissioning is about challenging historical spending patterns in light of what we know about population need. While that will be different for each partnership because of varying populations of need locally, it is likely that all partnerships will have to deal with the two major trends of our time – our ageing population and an increase in co-morbidity.

‘These changes to our population require a different type of health and social care system, one that is modelled on supporting people to live independently in the community. Therefore the real added value of strategic commissioning will be in our ability to shift resources from the old model to the new model. It is not a panacea, but it is a crucial element of reform.

‘To optimise the effectiveness of strategic commissioning, we now need to redistribute power from the centre to partnerships and localities.’

For further information about Joint Strategic Commissioning, email Brian Slater.


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