STRUCTURE: Sandwell PCT’s ability to offer effective commissioning support in the future could be diminished by a lack of capacity, a stock take has found.

The stock take found a number of areas of strength relating to partnership working; needs assessment; reputation management; stakeholder engagement; service redesign; contracting; market development and support for and delivery of statutory functions.

The main weaknesses and risks that were identified were linked to capacity and the ability to deliver future requirements with a diminishing resource.

The PCT developed a proposed Commissioning Support Service model which to date has received a favourable response from existing GP commissioning consortia.

The model provides PCT executive and non executive director input to the boards of future clinical commissioning groups and therefore links to the Black Country Cluster through the PCT Board.

The model also provides a named management lead for each commissioning group through whom there will be access to the full range of support services including commissioning, contracting and procurement, governance, finance, IT and human resources.