Tag Archives: policy-making

PRUComm Annual Research Seminar

Since the establishment of PRUComm in 2011 our research has focused on examining how the changes to the English NHS and public health system have developed. We continue to examine the development of CCGs and the new commissioning structures. We have also been exploring the mechanisms by which commissioning is undertaken, such as contracting and the use of competition and cooperation within the new system.

While most media attention has focused on changes to the commissioning and delivery of healthcare, the shift of public health to local authorities was a major part of the reforms introduced in April 2013. We have examined the progress and developments in the public health system with a particular emphasis on how governance and organisational structures develop and whether being embedded within local councils changes the way that public health services are provided. We have also been focusing on primary and community health care with recent projects examining general practice – including methods of funding primary care; research on recruitment and retention; QOF, scaling up primary care and running and analysing two rounds of the GP WorkLife survey (eight and nine).

Our research on CCGs has most recently focused on primary care co-commissioning and new forms of contracting, such as outcomes-based and alliancing. Given the increasing policy emphasis on this area of healthcare we anticipate that we will be increasingly involved in further research on primary and community healthcare. All these topics will be explored in today’s seminar with presentations by researchers from PRUComm.

Programme and speakers biographies [pdf]>>


9.30 Registration and refreshments

10.00 – Welcome and introduction: Professor Stephen Peckham (Director PRUComm).

10.00 – 10.25 Jonathan Walden: (Commissioning Policy Lead): Policy update – Department of Health and Social Care priorities.  Slides [pdf]>>

10.25– 11.00 Dr Lindsay Forbes: Incentivising GPs: Review of the Quality and Outcomes Framework in England. Slides [pdf]>>

11.00 – 11.20 Coffee

11.20 – 12.00 Dr Jon Gibson and Prof Kath Checkland: Satisfaction, sources of stress and intentions to quit amongst GPs in England: the results of the 9th GP Worklife survey

12.00 – 12.40 Dr Marie Sanderson: Examining the implementation of new models of contracting in the NHS: what are the lessons for the formation of Accountable Care Systems?

12.40 – 13.20 Lunch

13.20 – 14.00 Dr Valerie Moran: How are CCGs managing conflicts of interest when they commission primary care? Lessons for Accountable Care. Slides [pdf]>>

14.00 – 15.50 Panel Discussion – STPs, and ACS’s the re-emergence of planning?

15.50 – 16.00 Professor Stephen Peckham: Current PRUComm research programme

16.00 Close

Sympathising with commissioners

By Stephen Peckham

Commissioning is a complex and difficult process. It is fundamentally about relationships and with the organisation and structure of the NHS currently in flux the job of commissioners are constantly being faced with new challenges.

Right now, there is plenty that is new, changing and uncertain, both from the policy perspective and in practical terms. Most of those concerned are just finding their way. Many of the issues which pre-occupy commissioners are similar, regardless of whether PCTs, Clinical Commissioning Groups or any other group are in charge. They are often about getting right the information for decision-making and about feeling constrained by national and public priorities.

At PRUComm our job is to understand how commissioning processes work and how people are managing the complex challenges and relationships, so we can share the learning with colleagues. We’re not here to tell commissioners how they should be operating but by working with commissioners and policy makers we hope to support policy and practice.

We are pulling together some of the learning from previous research – in the UK and other countries – on commissioning. We will be examining areas such as  the impact of patient involvement and clinical leadership in the process. A focus of our energy will be the workings of the many different relationships – for example between NHS commissioners and local authorities as well as between local and national healthcare commissioners. Knowledge and analysis will be fed back to the Department of Health, which funds the unit, and across the NHS and among the local agencies with whom we work.

This is a relatively new field of research both here and internationally. It represents a great opportunity for us to bring learning from Britain to other similar health economies. We will have done our job well, if we can really help all the players in this vast process to get the best out of commissioning – for their organisations, but most of all for the key focus of commissioning – patients and the general public.

Those with responsibility in this field are trying to spend the money in the right way, but it is a dynamic, complicated and difficult process. Hopefully, we can offer them tools and some thinking that will make their tasks easier.

Stephen Peckham is Director of PRUComm