Thursday, 13 September 2012

Health needs good commissioning 

Rushed from lunch with one of my members  , the charming Sarah Hamilton- Farley,  to the launch of a new publication , launched jointly by acevo and the NHS Alliance. "  Clinical Commissioners’ Guide to the Voluntary Sector, ".It is calling for a revolution in NHS/community links and closer collaboration between clinical commissioners and voluntary sector organisations.
The guide contains examples of good practice and demonstrates how the voluntary sector’s wealth of expertise and capacity for innovation will play a pivotal role in shaping the new NHS. It explores three key areas – QIPP, patient and public involvement and collaborative commissioning- and gives commissioners a road map to working and developing partnership with voluntary sector organisations.  
The examples range from initiatives by relatively small organisations which helped to improve health services to local people, to national organisations whose work translates into savings of millions of pounds to the NHS.
I was delighted to launch this with Dr Michael Dixon, who  chairs the NHS Alliance,  as he said at the launch ,  “‘The NHS has in the past failed to make the most of the 
potential of the voluntary sector and that needs to change." 

He argued that our sector is key to developing health services that are integrated, innovative, patient-led and meet the needs of local communities. 

The issue is whether Clinical commissioners will develop strong relationships with the sector to create a platform for collaborative commissioning and strengthen links with organisations and the people they benefit?
 Commissioners and the sector have a lot to learn from each another to maximise the potential of strong local partnerships which, not only will improve outcomes for patients, but also will provide better value for money as well as promote effective community engagement. This guide is just the beginning and we will continue to work with clinical commissioners and the voluntary sector to foster and nurture a working relationship which will be crucial for the future of the NHS.
It's  vital that clinical commissioners and the sector work closely together on the design and delivery of health and social care so the guide sets out principles and examples for developing the relationships between local communities and commissioners that will help to shape the future of NHS services. And let's face it , commissioning in the health service is convoluted and bureaucratic.   That has to change. 

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