‘Values based’ commissioning, contracts, quality assurance and end of life care are some of the subjects examined in the latest HSJ commissioning supplement.
The future of mental health services lies in an entirely new type of commissioning that puts users at its heart. Under “values based” commissioning, service users and carers will work jointly with commissioners to lead commissioning decisions. Commissioners will pay attention not only to evidence based research but also to patients’ experiences and perspectives on care.
Getting contracts right will be vital for clinical commissioning groups as they take responsibility for out of hours services. Good service design and thorough specification will be crucial to treating more people in primary care and avoiding perverse incentives for out of hours providers to send people to A&E.
Far too many people die in hospital when they have no need to be there - and nearly two thirds of people would like to die at home. A lack of joined up working is a key barrier to creating effective, integrated end of life care pathways. Now some trusts are bringing in outside help to lead work across boundaries so that patients do get more choice about where they die.
Helped by its network of 8,000 trained volunteers, the British Red Cross is leading the way in rethinking “reablement” services to help elderly and vulnerable people regain their independence and avoid hospital admissions. It aims not just to help them do basic tasks at home such as washing but to re-engage with the outside world.
How to get CCGs the reliable, useful information they need to transform care − and end the arguments between providers and commissioners over data.
CCGs are increasingly asking care homes to look after − and, crucially, rehabilitate − patients too ill or frail to remain at home but who don’t need an acute hospital bed.
Clinical commissioning groups have made a good start on work to ensure quality services. They are now being urged to learn from each other and compare how they are doing on quality.