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Designing whole-systems commissioning: lessons from the English experience

Williams, Iestyn and Bovaird, Tony and Brown, Hilary and Allen, Kerry and Dickinson, Helen and Kennedy, Jane and Glasby, Jon (2013) Designing whole-systems commissioning: lessons from the English experience. Journal of Care Services Management. ISSN 1750-1679 (In Press)

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The paucity of formal evidence, allied to the requirement for strategies that are sensitive to local history and context, means that a ‘blueprint’ for successful strategic commissioning is not currently available for adoption. We are therefore confined to proposing ‘design principles’ for those seeking to embark upon a transition towards a whole systems approach to strategic commissioning. People and relationships are of critical importance all the way through the chain from strategic commissioning to micro-commissioning. Most crucially, experience suggests that structural solutions alone cannot deliver effective relationships and will not be effective when relationships are neglected. The need to ensure staff, partner and political buy-in suggests that relationship management and consensus-building are an integral component of the leadership role in moving toward strategic commissioning. As with any major re-organisation, the move to strategic commissioning is essentially a change management initiative and therefore will stand or fall according to whether it adheres to good practice in the change management process. Central to this, and to achieving commissioning outcomes, is the requirement for meaningful service user and public engagement. Effective commissioning emphasizes individual capabilities as well as needs, and community assets as well as deficits and problems. Adoption of strategic commissioning approaches is still at the developmental and learning stage and arguably all structural arrangements should be regarded as transitional.

Type of Work:Article
Date:01 March 2013 (Submission)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Health Services Management Centre
Subjects:H Social Sciences (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:Maney Publishing
ID Code:1313
Refereed:YES
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