There was a clear, recognised need for the department to have a strong commissioning strategy and to review its currently commissioned services.
The creation of the Community Wellbeing Service in 2014 included the Independent and Third Sector Relationship Section. This new team now brings together the knowledge and skills to ensure that there is an effective commissioning regime in place, supported through Market Position Statements, Population Needs Analyses, a clear commissioning strategy and renewed focus on achieving positive outcomes for individuals through commissioned services. The team consists of two commissioners, an information officer, third sector liaison officer, independent sector liaison officer, regional link officer, and administrator, brought together under an experienced Section Manager, reporting to the Director.
What difference has it made?
We have developed Market Position Statements focussing on dementia and disabilities – the need, what the current supply is, what the future need will be, and what we intend the supply to look like.
We have defined the core values which will run through our commissioning processes. We have started to review existing contracts, looking for opportunities to merge services, or ensure more effective delivery of individual needs. We are reviewing our current contracting arrangements with the independent care provider sector, looking at different ways of supporting them to deliver re-ablement services within vulnerable communities and provide security of delivery to those receiving care.
The Section Manager has developed closer relationships with the third sector, social enterprises and independent sector.
The difference made by the team will be seen most keenly over the next 12 months, as processes for managing grant allocations become more streamlined, needs-based market position statements will be developed to show the direction in which the authority is seeking development for services.
A clear, focussed commissioning strategy will be developed, our approach being to prevent escalation of need and ensure that people are supported to be independent will be evident within it. We recognise the current demands placed upon the care home sector and will be holding quarterly liaison meetings starting in summer 2015 to ensure that we develop more effective relationships with them. We will also ensure that the service user and citizen voice informs our commissioning strategy and that we develop service specifications in a co-productive way to ensure that citizens and service users actively influence what we commission.
This post is also available in: Welsh