What does good social care commissioning look like?

Working together to commission better services

Social care commissioning is about planning care and support services, to make sure the right support is in the right place at the right time, for the people who need it.

(When it’s time to purchase those services, we’re talking about procurement. You can find out more about that here).

Good commissioning is more than just organising services – it’s about creating a partnership of purchasers, providers and service users, to work out future demand and use resources in the best way to provide high quality, sustainable support.

As you probably know, this isn’t easy: it’s a complex process in a complex environment (learn what we mean by complexity here).

That’s why collaboration is so important.

In social care commissioning, one size fits nobody

We encourage commissioners to move away from the traditional ‘top-down’ way of doing things and draw on the expertise and experience of those who actually provide and use services, to understand what’s possible in their unique situation.

The introduction of Self-directed Support (SDS) makes collaboration even more important. Moving from population-level commissioning to tailored planning for individuals calls for big changes to the commissioning process – such as shifting from funding by block contract to individual budgets, preparing the workforce, and costing and delivering services in a more flexible way.

Changing practice can be challenging, but it’s essential if SDS is to become a reality.

Here’s how we can help you do things differently

Our Improve Commissioning programme helps purchasers and providers work in partnership to provide better care and support services to those who need them – without all the usual stress!

We want to make the commissioning process less daunting, so purchasers and providers feel confident about solving problems together.

What you can do now:

Get handy resources. Check out our recent work, quick guides and publications here.

Sound out the options. If you’re ready to do things differently but aren’t sure where to start, give us a call – we can point you in the right direction.

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