Department of Health Skip to content

Please note that this website has a UK government access keys system.

You are here:

Elective care commissioning pathways

  • Author:
    Department of Health
  • Published date:
    8 November 2010
  • Gateway reference:
  • Copyright holder:

In 2007 and 2008, the Department of Health worked with senior clinical colleagues from the NHS and Royal Colleges to develop condition-based (and symptom-based, where appropriate) commissioning pathways for each of the highest volume specialties reflecting national good practice, in order to:

  • challenge existing practice
  • utilise service improvement tools and techniques
  • maximise opportunities for transformational change
  • provide a catalyst for local discussion and challenge 
  • support commissioners to deliver local services within maximum waiting times and improving patient experience of their care pathway.

The pathways are high-level service models to help support and enable commissioners.

The pathways are specifically aimed at supporting local implementation of good practice, to improve efficiency, reduce delays, and improve quality of service provision in a safe and effective way

Please note:  The following model commissioning pathways were last updated in 2009. Some of the specific guidance and supporting documentation to which they refer has been overtaken, or is no longer available, however, the principles of good practice that underpin the pathways remain relevant and so they continue to be made available for the use of the NHS.  Arrangements for commissioning may change following consultation on the NHS White Paper Equity and excellence: liberating the NHS.

List of pathways

The interactive pathways can be viewed  from the links below and on the Pathways for Health website. Both the pathways and their supplementary information can be printed by downloading the appropriate PDF documents below. 

Commissioning Pathway template and copyright

The template for the commissioning care pathways was developed by Dr Steven Laitner (GP, Associate Medical Director and clinical adviser to the Department of Health) and Suzie Normanton (nurse/health visitor and independent consultant) in order to provide a standard means of viewing the entire system of care for a population. Steven has extensive experience in both designing and developing commissioning care pathways and also in service redesign.

The Pathways for Health template is protected by copyright. The intellectual property rights for the commissioning pathway template and the supplementary information template remain the property of Dr Steven Laitner and Suzie Normanton. Copyright for the image and design remains with Steven and Suzie and cannot be altered without prior written permission.

Additional links

Ordering publications

Contact details for obtaining hard-copy DH publications.

Help viewing PDFs

Useful tips to ensure you get the most from PDFs and the free Reader program. Topics covered include accessibility, troubleshooting and searching files.

Access keys