In this week’s HSJ commissioning supplement how elite commissioning support units can shape transformation is explored.

In this supplement three areas of NHS commissioning are explored.

In the first chapter, on transformation, commissioning support units are going through big changes.

Just six CSUs have been placed on the new commissioning support regime marked out – along with various independent sector bidders – for their ability to deliver the best services. Leading CSUs believe they must play a vital role in developing new commissioning models and in helping to foster relationships across their local health economies. Some case studies show how CSUs have added value.

Health inequalities are the focus of second chapter.

Few data analysis offers the opportunity to uncover groups under served or neglected by the NHS. A recent piece of work has highlighted increasing inequality in hepatitis C, with deprived groups having the highest levels of prevalence but lowest levels of access to treatment. Such insights may encourage commissioners to go out into local communities to identify patients proactively and push for more equitable access to the best treatments.

External providers are discussed in chapter three.

Winter pressures risk pushing NHS hospital trusts into crisis. Now some are looking at partnering with the independent sector, commissioning outside providers to take some of the strain in the busiest times.