Strategic commissioning plans: guidance

Guidance for everyone involved in the commissioning of health and social care services.

This document is part of a collection

6. What should a good strategic commissioning plan look like?

6.1 The strategic commissioning plans for older people that were developed in 2013 as part of Reshaping Care for Older People offer a good start. Nonetheless, strategic commissioning, as envisaged for this programme of reform, which is co-produced, fully inclusive, and spans health and social care, has never been done before. This is a new, and relatively untried, process. We will share good practice as it emerges. In the meantime, Integration Authorities and their partners will be expected to collaborate with revised national improvement and support arrangements to ensure the maximum potential of this approach is realised.

6.2 The National Steering Group for Strategic Commissioning[9] has suggested that a good plan should be based around the established strategic commissioning cycle and should:

  • Identify the total resources available across health and social care for each care group and for carers and relate this information to the needs of local populations set out in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA);
  • Agree desired outcomes and link investment to them;
  • Assure sound clinical and care governance is embedded;
  • Use a coherent approach to selecting and prioritising investment and disinvestment decisions; and
  • Reflect closely the needs and plans articulated at locality level.

6.3 The Steering Group further suggests that strategic commissioning plans should be based around the established strategic commissioning cycle, which is fully described in the accompanying advice note.

6.4 Integration Authorities should take account of the "3-step Improvement Framework for Scotland's Public services"[10], ensuring that there is an agreed vision, that work is undertaken to improve the culture and capacity of partnership working, and that plans are implemented with impact measured appropriately, to demonstrate improvement. This framework emphasises the need to tell 'a story', to enable people to recognise where they have been and where they are heading. Strategic commissioning plans should describe how people's lives, health and wellbeing will be improved.

6.5 It is envisaged that Integration Authorities will develop an easy-read, overarching summary of the strategic commissioning plan which will provide details of the vision. That in itself though will not meet the statutory requirements, and so the full, detailed plan must also be published.

6.6 All Local Authority/Health Board partnerships produced strategic commissioning plans for older people in 2013/14. The Act however, requires a strategic plan to cover all functions included in the integration arrangements, so will by necessity cover at least all adult care groups. It will be a matter for each Integration Authority to decide how best to achieve that. However, it is generally acknowledged that under an overarching framework, separate sections of the plan should focus on particular sections of the population, for example older people or adults with a physical disability. Where criminal justice and children's services are delegated locally then the strategic plan must cover those services as well.

6.7 Annex A provides further detail on the statutory requirements of strategic commissioning, and how it should be carried out.

6.8 An advice note will be prepared to share emerging good practice and outline the support that is available to help on all aspects of the commissioning process.



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