Lack of evidence for commissioning best practice

Evidence to demonstrate how commissioners can best influence healthcare providers and improve patients' health is lacking, according to a report by the University of Birmingham.

‘Towards World Class Commissioning Competency’ identifies some of the greatest challenges facing commissioners of local health services and the skills they need to tackle them.

These include engaging people in improving their own health to reduce the demands on the healthcare system and finding ways to involve people in priority setting and decision making.

The report welcomes the DoH’s recently published vision for ‘World Class Commissioning’ but highlights some key issues not fully addressed.

Professor Chris Ham, of the university’s health services management centre, said: ‘There must be an understanding that it will take time to build up our knowledge of what approaches work best.’

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