Issues in commissioning

"If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got...."

The concept of a Psychologically Informed Environment, and the principles behind it, raise some interesting issues and challenges for commissioners, as well as for providers of services.

For example, two papers  in the Library (Johnson 2013a, 2013b) on "complex needs"  argue that smarter, more "psychologically informed" commissioning lies at the very heart of the way we can now begin to address "complex needs", at locality level.

In  Five Top Tips for Commissioners, Victoria Aseervatham, Rough Sleeping Services commissioner for London's Westminster, suggests a range of ways, and introduces some of her inspirational resources, for effective commissioning.

We also have an article, "More for Less?" by Peter Cockersell formerly of St Mungos - one of the co-authors of the 2012 operational guidance - which aims to address issues of increased efficiency in PIEs. Whilst not specifically written from a commissioner's perspective, is written as a response to commissioners' concerns.

The "Recurring themes" paper in the Library area also offers an overview, in brief, "headline" terms, of many of the underlying themes in practical operation that were found in the CLG/NMHDU good practice examples*

This paper then compares these issues, firstly from the point of view of providers, and then with these same issues as seen  from the point of view of the commissioners' task. That is, it covers not just what to look for in commissioning frontline services, but also, what commissioners themselves may need to attend to, in how they themselves work, in order to promote PIE approaches. 


The Faculty of Homelessness and Health Inclusion now has a draft of commissioning guidance intended specifically for health service commissioners - key players in public health, and in the strategic partnerships to develop more joined up services at local level. 

*   NB: this paper was originally in preparation for the 2010 CLG/NMHDU guidance, but was completed too late to meet the deadlines (and it has been re-worked somewhat since then). Since this document did not appear in the original CLG/NMHDU guidance, and there has been no feedback or debate, it is presented here purely to stimulate discussion on how useful these ideas may be.

Issues in commissioning

Further reading

"Do complex needs need 'complex needs services'?" by Robin Johnson   

"More for Less? Using PIEs and recovery to improve efficiency in Supported Housing " by Peter Cockersell 

Recurring themes by Robin Johnson

Five Top Tips for Commissioners by Victoria Aseervatham

 Faculty Guidelines for commissioning of primary care: to follow.


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