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Making strategic commissioning work Lessons from home and away

Clinical commissioning is entering a new phase. Improving the health and care of our populations, both now and in the future, is a task that clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are keen to embrace. Their clinical leadership, insight and readiness for change has meant they have already evolved into organisations that can work at scale and at pace.

Strategic commissioning is seen by CCGs as their future destination. It’s acknowledged that the specific design and delivery of the function will vary by place, but at its core is the ambition to create a more person-centred and sustainable NHS. Our membership is therefore keen to shape the development of the strategic commissioner role to ensure the right enablers are in place at a local and national level to create a smooth transition towards it.

This briefing has been developed to better understand which enablers can support the transition toward strategic commissioning and some early lessons for its
implementation going forward. It therefore builds on our publication Steering towards strategic commissioning: Transforming the system, which sought to define the function and highlight a number of national asks in relation to the changing commissioning landscape.

The content for this briefing has been developed from:

• interviews with a combination of our members, national stakeholders within health and social care and representatives from sites further ahead in the development of accountable care models.

• debate amongst our wider membership at our national event on 2 November 2017, which was themed on strategic commissioning. Around 120 CCG leaders
attended, with speakers from across the national bodies, CCGs and the accountable care models.

• desk-based research on international examples of high performing place-based systems of care that have developed in New Zealand, Sweden, Spain and the
United States, as well as a number of other countries reviewed on an individual basis. The full case studies are available for download on the NHSCC website.