Contract implementation

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Healthcare is procured from a range of providers; the aim is to improve healthcare, achieving the strategic objectives through the contracting process. Contracting incorporates market research, purchasing, procurement, tendering, and sometimes grants.

Tips on searching the web:

When searching the internet, suggested terms include…

  • (contract AND implement*) / specification* / procurement
  • To limit to NHS papers, try combining your results with: (ccg OR nhs). To look for CCG publications add the following to your google search:  site: (note the space before the CCG.)
  • You can search for terms such as “board paper” / “strategy” to help to locate Trust papers
  •  COMBINE WITH keywords to reflect the topic area you are focusing upon.

Also have a look at our summary of tips on searching the web.

List of contents

Market research

Dr Foster Intelligence
This company covers market research analysis and social marketing as well as offering expertise in changing behaviour and managing demand on health services.


NHS Standard Contracts for 2012/13 – to be used by Commissioners when commissioning, Acute, Mental Health and Learning Disability, Community or Ambulance Services.

Clinical contracting considerations, Grafton Group, May 2013 – An outline of the main contracting mechanisms for use when procuring clinical services and to provide a “road map” as to when the differing contracting mechanisms may be best applied.

In Better Health – Health Guides for Third Sector CEO’s
“Short, readable overviews” from the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) and DH. (Note – standard contracts have changed sine these were published.)

European Community Health Indicators Monitoring (ECHIM) Project
Collection of health indicators and health monitoring indicators from across the EU.

Framework for Managing Choice, Cooperation and Competition [Archived Content]
The roles, responsibilities, values and behaviours required for the effective management of choice and competition within the NHS.

Good Indicators Guide: Understanding how to use and choose indicators
A short, practical resource for anyone in any health system who is responsible for using indicators to monitor and improve performance, systems or outcomes.

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Outcomes based contracting – see Managing provider performance

NHS Primary Care Contracting [Archived content]
Information from the Department of Health on legislation, policy guidance, contract documentation, implementation and support details for GMS, PMS, PCTMS and APMS.
As of April 2013 NHS England has taken over responsibility for primary care commissioning.

Principles and rules for co-operation and competition [Archived Content]
Simple, workable guidance for system managers, commissioners, and providers on the expected behaviours and rules governing cooperation and competition, in the provision of NHS services.

Transactions manual [Archived Content]
This manual for providers and commissioners of NHS services covers mergers, de-mergers, acquisitions, divestments, joint ventures and franchising. Co-produced with NHS stakeholders, this is a joint publication by the Department of Health and Monitor. The manual incorporates best-practice guidance, as well as mandatory practice required by law or by policy.

Unit Costs of Health and Social Care 
An annual compilation of costs from the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU).


NHS Networks Commissioning Zone
The Commissioning Zone includes resources on procurement. To find these, conduct a search on procurement, and browse through procuring in the Process section.

An online resource that advertises opportunities to provide Part B clinical services commissioned by the NHS in England. A good place to see what other NHS Trusts are putting out to contract, with brief contract details and contact information.

Procurement of clinical services: Briefings for CCGs from the NHS Commissioning Board, 14 September 2012

  • Introduction: why do CCGs need to understand procurement?
  • How does procurement fit with the different stages of commissioning?
  • What are the procurement options?
  • Which rules apply to a procurement process?
  • How should a procurement process be conducted?
  • Summary of the decision-making process.

Information for commissioners from Monitor regarding Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition

Procurement procedure guide, Dorset CCG  a ten step guide to the objectives, tasks, documents and outcomes in a standard procurement procedure.

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