NCVOs KnowHow NonProfit has updated its advice on commissioning on our support website KnowHow NonProfit.
'Commissioning' is a way in which public bodies (such as local authorities and the NHS) secure services to meet the identified needs of their local populations. For many types of services delivered by voluntary organisations commissioning has now replaced the traditional process of awarding grants.
The commissioning process in brief …
The last government introduced the concept of ‘any willing provider’ – which means that when new services are developed, the commissioning process should be available to voluntary and private organisations as well as NHS organisations. The Coalition Government is continuing to open up markets to competition, so this may bring opportunities for voluntary organisations. This will also bring challenges as we will need to compete against larger organisations, which may also be better resourced.
There are various departments of our local Council that commission services – such as Adult Social Care and Children & Families.
Our local NHS also commissions services. To save management costs, commissioners are now working in a unified way across Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea. Also, with the NHS restructuring, public health departments are to be given greater powers, and the job of commissioning secondary and specialist care is transferring from primary care trusts to GP consortia. We will keep you updated on these developments and how they affect the local voluntary sector.