Organisations that support commissioners

See Commissioning and the Coalition for the key government organisations created by the NHS reorganisation (eg NHS England).

There are many professional organisations providing commissioning information relating to their specialist area – see Commissioning for specific diseases or conditions.

Key organisations (alphabetical order):

Better Healthcare Public Health Network a central internet discussion forum and document store, open to all public health professionals (and others) involved in NHS commissioning. The network is hosted by SPH (see below)

Commissioning Support Units (CSUs)
Commissioning Support Units [aka Commissioning Support Services (CSSs)] were created as part of the reorganisation under the Health & Social Care Act 2012 under which CCGs have a choice of where they procure their management support services. They bring the non-clinical skills and knowledge of the commissioning process together in a way that frees up clinicians to use their strengths to focus on leading local change.

Department of Health (DH)
The Department of Health leads, shapes and funds health and care in England, making sure people have the support, care and treatment they need, with the compassion, respect and dignity they deserve. Although much of the work relating to commissioning is carried out by NHS England, the DH also produces relevant documents. Their website lists their current policies and associated documents – NHS, Social care, Public health and Public safety and emergencies- and statistical resources.

Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) – formerly NHS Information Centre (NHS IC). The national data, information and technology resource for the health and care system.  Topics include: Data quality, Hospital care,Illnesses and conditions,Mental health,Patient experience, Prescribing,Primary care services, Public health,Social care, and Workforce. Many of the key indicators are available through the Indicator Portal including

  • CCG Outcomes Indicator (formerly known as the ‘Commissioning Outcomes Framework’)
  • Compendium of Population Health Indicators (previously NCHOD).
  • GP Practice data
  • Local Basket of Inequalities Indicators (LBOI)
  • NHS Outcomes Framework
  • Quality Accounts (mandatory indicators, based on recommendations by the National Quality Board)
  • Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI)
  • Social Care (Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF)

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King’s Fund
The King’s Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and health care in England. It helps ‘shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate’. The website includes the King Fund Library database and a commissioning section.

London Health Programmes
Leads the development of proposals to improve health and healthcare services for Londoners. Replaced Commissioning Support for London which closed 31 March 2011.

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
NICE produces guidance to help health and social care professionals deliver the best possible care based on the best available evidence. NICE supports clinical commissioning groups from practical support for commissioning to advice on the use of social value judgements in resource prioritisation. It produces a range of resources that are of interest to commissioners across health and social care. Key resources created by NICE include:

NHS Benchmarking Network “benchmarking and knowledge exchange to identify, share and promote excellent and innovative practice” Some material is subscriber only.

NHS Clinical Commissioners “the independent membership service that has been established as the collective voice of CCGs through a partnership between the NHS Alliance, National Association of Primary Care and NHS Confederation.”

NHS ImprovementOne of the organisations absorbed by NHS Improving Quality on 1 April 2013.

NHS Improving Quality -“Working to build improvement capacity and capability and to help develop knowledge and skills across the whole health and care system to improve health outcomes for people by providing improvement and change expertise.” Established on 1 April 2013 and absorbed a number of improvement organisations including:

  • National Cancer Action Team
  • National End of Life Care Programme
  • NHS Diabetes and Kidney Care
  • NHS Improvement
  • NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement.

NHS Institute for Innovation & ImprovementOne of the organisations absorbed by NHS Improving Quality on 1 April 2013. Some NHS Institute resources are still available through their website. See the National Archives pages here.

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NHS Networks Commissioning Zone
Not an organisation but one of the NHS Networks which brings together the key resources around commissioning across the medical spectrum. Also search for other useful networks including Commissioning for Long Term Conditions , Smart Guides to Engagement, Health Investment Network (part of QIPP Right Care) and many others. Register to receive regular updates.

Nuffield Trust
The Nuffield Trust is an independent source of evidence-based research and policy analysis for improving health care in the UK. It aims to help provide the evidence base for better health care. The work programme focuses on a number of key areas including commissioning.

Primary Care Commissioning (PCC)
An independent provider of practical, expert support to commissioners and general practices.

Public Health England
Public Health England (PHE) works with national and local government, industry and the NHS to protect and improve the nation’s health and support healthier choices. It supports local authorities who lead on improving health and coordinating local efforts to protect the public’s health and wellbeing.

  • Network of Public Health Observatories (formerly Association of Public Health Observatories) – The Network represented the 12 Public Health Observatories (PHOs) which are now part of PHE.

RCGP Centre for Commissioning
A range of resources offering practical guidance for GPs including competencies.

Regional Voices for better health – Regional Voices champions the work of voluntary and community organisations to improve health, well-being and care across England. The regional VCS network organisations have each developed a regional “Who’s Who” guide to support voluntary and community sector organisations make contact with people in the new health and care structures in each region, including clinical commissioning groups, health and wellbeing boards, local Healthwatch organisations, commissioning support units, CQC- in each local authority. [Note – check the accuracy of these guides]

Social Care Institute for Excellence
SCIE is an independent charity working with adults, families and children’s social care and social work services. It gathers and analyses knowledge about what works and translate that knowledge into practical resources, learning materials and services including training and consultancy. There is a commissioning section on its website of particular interest to those involved in joint commissioning, mental health, learning disability and integrated care working with local authorities

SPH – Solutions for Public Health
A not-for-profit NHS public health organisation which works across a broad range of areas including outcomes, health intelligence and commissioning.

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