PCT Portal - a resource map for commissioners

Commissioning and Procurement Guidance

Stop Smoking guidance

In March 2009 the Department of Health published the latest service and monitoring guidance on Stop Smoking Services.  The guidance provides best practice relevant to the provision of all NHS stop smoking interventions and sets out fundamental quality principles for the delivery of services which can be used to inform the development of local commissioning arrangements.  The guidance is available here.

National Dementia Strategy launched

The Department of Health launched the National Dementia Strategy on 3 February.  It sets out initiatives designed to make the lives of people with dementia, their carers and families better and more fulfilled. It is backed by £150 million over the first two years.  Proposals include the introduction of a dementia specialist into every general hospital and care home and for mental health teams to assess people with dementia.  It contains important guidance for commissioners.  To view the startegy and associated documents (including the implementation plan) click here. The HSJ and LGC are holding a conference on 18 March jointly sponsored by the Department of Health, the Alzeimers Society and NHS Networks.  For details click here.

Guidance on commissioning GP services

The Department of Health issued guidance on 27 January, one of a series of guides to help primary care trusts become world class commissioners of primary care and community services. Click here to access the guidance.

Guidance on commissioning dental services

Also issued on 27 January, this is another on of the series of guides to help primary care trusts become world class commissioners of promary care and community services.  Click here to access the guidance. 

Guidance on Commissioning Cancer Care

The Department of Health has published guidance a toolkit as part of a commitment in the Cancer Reform Strategy.  The web-based cancer commissioning toolkit supports commissioners of cancer services by providing a range of benchmarked information and data.

To view the guidance click here.

To access the toolkit click here.

Development Framework for Practice Based Commissioning

The Department of Health has established a PBC Development Framework, which SHAs, PCTs and practice-based commissioners (PBCs) can now use to appoint appropriately skilled organisations to provide a range of PBC capability development support.

Clinical leadership through PBC is at the heart of world class commissioning; driving improvements and stimulating innovation in service delivery.  Commissioning is strongest and most effective when it is the product of a partnership between local clinicians and health service managers working in tandem.

The PBC Development Framework provides a structured and time efficient method for NHS bodies to rapidly procure high quality support to boost their PBC capability and skills.

Guidance on the role and purpose of PCT boards

The Department of Health has issued guidance on the role and purpose of PCT boards in the context of world class commissioning as part of their board development programme.  The guidance includes amongst other areas an indication of the unique role of the board in relation to each of the 11 competencies.  To view the guidance click here.

Healthy Weight commissioning guidance

The Department of Health North West Public Health Group and other interested parties in the North West, including a local PCT, have teamed up to produce a guide to commissioning weight management services for children and young people. The guide follows wider policy initiatives that put more emphasis on early intervention in healthcare and on the promotion of healthier diet and more active lifestyles.

Addressing Alcohol Misuse

The Department of Health announced on 6 November that twenty of the areas worst hit by alcohol misuse are to receive support as part of a new programme which will help the local health service better identify and intervene with those at risk.  The selected PCTs are in inequality hotspots, and as ‘early implementers’, will share their experiences with health services around the country.

Funding will come from the new Local Alcohol Interventions Improvement Programme, launched by Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo at the National Alcohol Conference.  A range of data, guidance, learning resources, and the HubCAPP database of practice examples have been brought together via the Alcohol Learning Centre website

Personalised care planning for long term conditions

The Department of Health has oproduced a guide which aims to provide commissioners of health and social care services with the information and support they need to embed personalised care planning in their localities. This should ensure that people with long term conditions receive more individualised care and services to help them manage their conditions better and achieve the outcomes they want for themselves. The guide was developed in collaboration with stakeholders across health, social care, the voluntary and independent sectors and patient representative groups.  Click here to find the guide.

Mental health commissioning

As part of the wider DH support for commissioners of mental health services the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency has launched the Roadmap for Commissioners for the Procurement of Mental Health Services. This is an on-line resource pack for commissioners for all ages, including Child and Adolescent services, containing practical tools, guidance, case studies, templates and links to useful websites.

It integrates commercial and procurement elements with clinical aspects to help commissioners get the most from the provider market enabling quality and value for money in delivering improved outcomes.

Commissioning Pathology Services

The Department of Health published Lord Carter's second report on pathology services on 18 December, together with its response to his recommendations.  The Department is undertaking further work with the NHS in this area.  The report and the Department's response is available here. For further information please contact Professor Gifford Batstone, National Clinical Lead for Pathology, NHS Connecting for Health. 

Procurement Guidance

The NHS has access to FESC, Catalist, the NHA PASA Consultancy Framework and the Leadership Development Services Framework.

Guidance on good procurement practice can be found in the PCT Procurement Guide and the Framework for Managing Choice and Competition on the Department of Health website.

The Department of Health has also published practical tips for achieving the world class commissioning competencies. Developed by over 100 stakeholders, the Department of Health hopes it will support local NHS commissioners as they begin their journey to becoming world class.

PCTs must advertise opportunities to provide Part B clinical services on NHS Supply2Health

NICE Commissioning Guides

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) produces web-based commissioning guides to help the NHS in England effectively commission evidence-based care for patients. Each commissioning guide concentrates on a particular topic, providing practical information on key clinical and service-related issues to consider during the commissioning process, and offers a benchmark to help commissioners determine the level of service needed locally. Within each guide, an interactive commissioning tool enables primary care organisations to estimate and inform the level of service needed locally as well as the cost of local commissioning decisions.

See the NICE commissioning guides for further information.