Resources and links

North West librarians commissioning blog

This is a useful and lively bringing together of resources to support commissioners.  Access it here.

Sustaining 18 weeks

An interactive guide to sustaining shorter care pathways has been launched and is available here.  This interactive guide has been developed to aid providers and commissioners to continue to work in partnership on the elements required to sustain shorter care pathways. You can access this guide from the perspective of a provider, commissioner or a Local Health Community (LHC). It can be used as a self-assessment prior to the development of local sustainability action plans.

Practice Based Commissioning

This document from the Department of Health's sets out a vision for clinical commissioning, the hallmarks of successful clinical commissioning, the support and entitlements that practice-based commissioners can expect, and the principles underpinning vibrant, productive partnerships between PCTs and their clinical communities.  The document is available here.

Post 2010 strategic review of health inequalities (Marmot Review)

Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Chair of the WHO Commission for Social Determinants, is leading this review for the Department of Health.  The review website is accessible here.

The Compact Commissioning Guidance

The Compact published Commissioning Guidance and FAQs in February 2009.  Copies of the guidance, questions and answers and an implementation guide are available on the publications section of their website.   The Commissioning guidance is available here.

Personalised budgets and care planning - the shape of the future?

The 2008 NHS Next Stage Review endorsed the proposal to include NHS funding within personal budgets. The NHS Confederation has published a report exploring the potential of personalisation and designed to stimulate further debate on how this development will impact on mainstream commissioning and provision of NHS services.  The report is available here.

Healthy lives, brighter futures - Joint strategy launched

Healthy lives, brighter futures is the long-term strategy jointly published between the DH and the Department of Children, Schools and Families, to support children and families’ health.  It aims to achieve world-class health outcomes and minimise health inequalities. This will be supported by services of the highest quality, providing an excellent experience for the young people and their families who use them.  The NHS Operating Framework for 2009/10 highlighted children as a priority and referred to this strategy. The strategy makes a number of commitments for all children, including those in their early years, at school age, and with acute or additional needs. To view the strategy click here.

UK Forum on Priority Setting in Health Care:
Managing the Health Care Credit Crunch

The newly created UK Forum on Health Care Priority Setting is funded by the NHS Institute for Innovation and improvement and is organised by the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University.  The first forum meeting on 27th January was hosted by Birmingham University and discussed ‘Programme Planning and Priority Setting’. The meeting focused on Programme Budgeting Marginal Analysis (PBMA); work on this at a national level, and its application in local projects. The next meeting on 25th February discussed ‘Ethics, financing and priority setting’.  The third forum meeting on 23rd April focused on knowledge management and priority setting, discussing the importance of knowledge; key sources of evidence; innovations in knowledge management; and views from Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Organisations.  For more information and to view presentations from the Forum please visit: 

Public Health Commissioning Network launch

The PHCN was launched on 24 November 2008. All those involved in commissioning from a public health perspective are invited to join.  The network offers the opportunity for sharing documents and discussing practice.  Find the network at

Commissioning handbook

This wiki for commissioning is a dynamic resource sponsored by the National Library for Health. It was developed by library information professionals as a means of pooling their knowledge of resources and sharing good practice so that they can better support NHS staff involved in commissioning. That the handbook may be of interest to a wider audience. There is no need to log in to the wiki - simply visit read the Introduction, and take a look around the list of chapter headings on the contents page.

The Information Centre's interactive map for commissioners

This map links the stages in the commissioning cycle to the Information Centre's products and services.

Launch of the Commissioning Specialist Library

The Commissioning Specialist Library (CSL) was officially launched at The King's Fund Annual Conference on 25 November 2008. The CSL is free, and aims to be a one-stop shop providing timely and efficient access to high quality information resources for all those involved in commissioning for health and wellbeing. It endeavours to include the best available evidence, examples of good practice, policy and data to support world class commissioning. The CSL is one of over 30 specialist libraries from the National Library for Health (NLH) and is managed by The King's Fund Information and Library Service. Feedback or comments are welcomed, and contact details can be found on the CSL homepage.

London Development Centre ‘Development Network’ for Mental Health Commissioners

The London Development Centre's Mental Health Commissioning Programme (MHCP) aims to support the development of mental health commissioning and commissioner competencies based on the world class commissioning Framework. It links to the NIMHE Effective Mental Health Commissioning and System Reform programme and Commissioning programmes across London and nationwide.  As part of the MHCP, the LDC is launching a new Commissioning Development Network. The network will take place every 5 weeks and will provide participants with an opportunity to engage in a number of workshops, listen to presentations from guest speakers and network with each other. Workshops will be theme based and draw heavily on the world class commissioning competencies and standards allowing commissioners to share learning and transfer knowledge within a mental health context.  The first meeting took place on 28th November.  If you would like further information on the Mental Health Commissioning Programme, please contact Louise Howell.