Commissioning guidance launched

NICE has published the first of five commissioning guides to assist the NHS in England in effectively commissioning evidence-based care for patients.


These web-based guides will be published this autumn and each one will support commissioners on a specific clinical topic.

The first guide focuses on upper gastrointestinal endoscopy services, and uses the NICE clinical guidelines on dyspepsia and referral for suspected cancer as its foundation.

The guides are split in to five sections:

  • Why commission this service?
  • What service specification is required to provide an effective service?
  • What level of service do I need locally?
  • What resources will be required locally?
  • What mechanisms are available for quality and corporate assurance?

The guides will cover local needs assessment and opportunities for clinical service redesign, whilst signposting readers to other sources of information.

Interestingly, the guides provide an interactive commissioning tool, which allows the commissioner to compare their local needs against a benchmark. This process will allow the user to identify and estimate potential costs associated with their commissioning decisions.

Dr Gillian Leng, NICE implementation systems director, said: ‘This commissioning guide offers practical advice on how to commission routine services, in line with NICE recommendations. It’s not another “how to commission” resource.’

The four other guides will cover:

  • Anticoagulation therapy services
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation in COPD
  • Assisted-discharge scheme for COPD
  • Diabetes foot care services
eMIMS links

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