Commissioning challenges demand new leaders

30 September 2014

The leaders of commissioning organisations face unprecedented challenges: funding, the post-Francis focus on safety and transparency, the growing crisis in general practice, strain on secondary care services, an ageing population, persistent health inequalities, political uncertainty and constant change.

The same pressures that make change urgent and inevitable sometimes also make it appear impossible to bring about.

Commissioning leaders accept the need for transformation of existing services, rapid development of primary care at scale and new approaches to commissioning that harness the expertise of clinicians, meet the needs of patients and taxpayers and result in better co-ordinated, better integrated and sustainable services.

New collaborative approaches to commissioning promise to change the role of the commissioner from solution prescriber to system engineer – an enabling role that allows patients and the public to define the outcomes they need and supports providers to work together to meet those needs.

Meanwhile, NHS England is exerting pressure to accelerate collaborative commissioning and heal divisions in the commissioning system through its co-commissioning drive.

Embracing new approaches to commissioning will require a new style of leadership focused on commissioning for value and outcomes, and understanding of the role of primary care in enabling positive change in the wider system.

PCC has developed a learning and development programme to give primary care commissioning leaders the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, practice the skills and gain the confidence they will need to lead their organisations to success. They include strategic insight, technical expertise and the softer skills needed to harness the energy, enthusiasm and ambition of others.

The action learning set comprises half-day sessions giving delegates working in small groups the opportunity to learn from experts, explore commissioning issues, work through problems and network with fellow leaders facing similar challenges. Topics covered will include:

·         Developing systems of providers

·         Commissioning for value  

·         A strategic overview of primary care contracting

·         Procurement

·         Creating the culture for change

·         Effective system management

·         Engagement and communications

·         The role of patient participation

·         Premises and finance

To find out more and to register interest in The Confident Leader: Primary Care Commissioning contact Peter Bullivant on 07717 300 633 or at

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