Specialised Commissioning

Specialised Commissioning Service Development Policy | NHS England

This service development policy  sets out NHS England’s approach for making decisions about which new treatments and interventions to routinely commission, and the approach used for updating existing service specifications, or creating new ones.

It is intended to ensure that funding is allocated fairly and appropriately, with due
regard to the competing demands on NHS England’s available funding.

This policy is accompanied by two methods documents: Methods: National Clinical
Policies and Methods: Service Specification which set out the processes in detail.


Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Profiling Tool

This tool has been developed to support an intelligence driven approach to understanding and meeting need| PHE

It provides commissioners, service providers, clinicians, services users and their families with the means to benchmark their area against similar populations and gain intelligence about what works.  It collates and analyses a wide range of publically available data on: prevalence, protective factors, primary prevention (adversity and vulnerability) and finance. It provides commissioners, service providers, clinicians, services users and their families with the means to benchmark their area against similar populations and gain intelligence about what works.

Tool structure – indicators are presented in 5 domains:

  • Identification of need
  • Protective factors
  • Primary prevention: Adversity
  • Primary prevention: Vulnerability
  • Finance

Within this domains, indicators are grouped by geography (predominantly county and local authority but also Clinical Commissioning Group) and then ordered by topic (e.g.adversity associated with poverty, abuse and neglect, family difficulties and parental difficulties).


Improved support for personal health budgets

NHS England says it has improved support for personal health budgets. It includes training courses for professionals who are new to the subject, introductory webinars and workshops for teams who want to expand local support for the programme | NHS England


The Next Steps on the Five Year Forward View published in March 2017 further promotes supporting disabled people and people with complex health needs through personal health budgets, with plans to reach in excess of 40,000 people by 2019.

The Personal Health Budget Delivery Team’s programme of support draws on the evidence and learning from the successful pilot programme, the implementation so far of personal health budgets in NHS Continuing Healthcare and in other areas, and draws on examples of best practice nationally.

The support includes:

  • Access to regional support, advice and workshops via dedicated Regional Managers
  • Regional network meetings
  • Continuing Healthcare masterclasses
  • Action learning sets
  • Online learning network: A members-only online space for asking questions and sharing learning with other areas.
  • Tools, guides and stories, supporting people to understand and implement personal health budgets.
  • Specialist networks: including in NHS Continuing Care, mental health services, children’s services, and services for adults with learning disabilities.
  • Policy and practice advice via the Q&A section of the learning network.
  • Workforce development and culture change: advice on how to develop leadership among professionals and access to experts by experience.
  • Evaluation: Tools to help you to measure progress and demonstrate results.

Find the programme of support for September 2017 here

As a GP, I’ve seen how vetting hospital referrals can help patients

The NHS is rolling out a scheme that makes non-urgent hospital referrals subject to approval. With safeguards, it can make for a fairer, more efficient system | The Guardian


The latest scare story about the NHS suggests that GP referrals to hospital will be increasingly vetted by a panel of other doctors who will have the power to refuse or allow patients access to specialist services. The NHS is rolling out a scheme that requires all family doctors in England to seek approval from a medical panel for all non-urgent hospital referrals, including hip and knee surgery, cataract removals, X-rays and scans. The “peer review” scheme is being expanded nationwide from next week following a pilot in two regions in the north-east.

Full news article available here

Sexual Health, Reproductive Health And HIV: A Review Of Commissioning

This report outlines the findings of a 2016 survey, carried out jointly with the Association of Directors of Public Health, which aimed to gain a clear picture of the commissioning arrangements for sexual health, reproductive health and HIV services | PHE


The survey found that whilst there has been progress in improving services and the development of collaborative approaches there is also evidence of structural concerns which have the potential to impede effective commissioning. Key findings from the survey highlight the fragmentation of commissioning, barriers to access for those at greatest risk, increasing financial pressures and patient demand, and workforce concerns.

Even well run practices need to improve their resilience

Resilience is the umbrella term NHS England has chosen for supporting general practice through one of its most challenging – and possibly transformational – periods since the NHS was founded three ears after the end of the Second World War | PCC

Resilience, collaboration and smarter working in general practice – That’s one of the main messages in the latest issue of Commissioning Excellence, which includes case studies on PCC’s support for the national resilience programme, our work in Wakefield to help five GP federations to come together as a confederation, an award-winning Gateshead practice’s use of a frailty nurse and practice champions to improve outcomes, and more accounts of the difference practice based clinical pharmacists are making.

Mental health services: cost-effective commissioning

Return on investment resources to support local commissioners in designing and implementing mental health and wellbeing support services. | Public Health England

Public Health England has produced a series of resources around mental health services.

The commissioning report summarizes the evidence on promoting good mental health and reducing the impact of poor mental health, generated through a rapid evidence review.

The return on investment (ROI) tool and user guide:

  • builds on the evidence in the commissioning report
  • can be adapted to local conditions
  • presents results showing the economic benefits of each intervention
  • show you how to use the ROI tool

The barriers and facilitator report identifies issues that can make the commissioning of mental health and wellbeing interventions easier or more difficult in a local area.

Local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, Health and Wellbeing Boards and their local partners (for example schools, employers, police) can use these set of resources to improve the provision of mental health services.

The documnets can be accessedd via Public Health England