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Health Care Professionals Commissioning Network offer 10 high impact actions for successful engagement

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Health Care Professionals Commissioning Network offer 10 high impact actions for successful engagement

The Health Care Professionals Commissioning Network, hosted by NHS Networks, published its response to Liberating the NHS today.

A coalition of local and national clinical leaders from nursing, pharmacy, optometry, dentistry and the allied health professions, the network’s response focused on answering just one question:    

"How can multi-professional involvement in commissioning most effectively be promoted and sustained?"

Challenging GP commissioners to fully engage with service users and carers in innovative ways as they are the people best placed to see the flaws in the current system, the HCP Commissioning Network urged Government and GP commissioning groups to gather insights from a wide network of health care professionals to paint a rich picture and deep understanding of the difference the full range of NHS services make to people’s lives.

Steve Foster, HCP Commissioning Network lead and community pharmacy clinical leader commented:


“Challenging times require new thinking and that we harness the collective wisdom of all those who care for local communities. We believe that GP commissioners who adopt these 10 action points will be more successful in achieving engagement of all providers and ultimately, will deliver better outcomes for local people.  We are looking to the Government to create the right levers to encourage these kinds of behaviours, and will be continuing dialogue with the Department of Health and National Commissioning Board to ensure that as policy develops, it takes account of the insights we can share about what is working well at local level.”


The group presented its response as ten high impact actions. They are summarised below:

Ten high impact actions to involve multi-professionals in GP commissioning

1.      Create the right culture. Create an open, collaborative culture now. Given health care is a complex jigsaw, acknowledge that there are things GP commissioners may not know or don’t know and need to know in order to make good commissioning decisions.

2.      Have an open door policy. Welcome and actively encourage approaches from health care professionals who want to engage with the development of GP commissioning.

3.      Involve people from the start. People support things they help to create. When people have an input from the beginning, everyone benefits from the collective insight and information. It creates shared ownership of decisions.

4.      Understand how your community really uses health services.  Research and understand which health and social care professionals (other than GPs) people have regular contact with and get support from. This is an important part of needs assessment. Use this information to inform commissioning. Build on these interactions and relationships. They are a valuable and underused asset.

5.      Expect everyone to deliver the right care. Set ambitious and explicit expectations that everyone across the system needs to focus on delivering ‘the right care’ (right place, right people, right intervention, right outcomes). Promote and nurture innovation amongst providers, including new approaches to skill mix.

6.      Build local multi professional relationships. Prioritise the development of local multidisciplinary networks across providers and commissioners. Engage a wide range of health care professionals, providers and health care partners in service redesign, commissioning and provision of services.

7.      Encourage multidisciplinary clinical leadership. Work with clinical leaders across the health professions to drive transformational change, quality improvement and challenging peer review.

8.      Copy, improve and pass on good practice. Most things have been done already somewhere else; often led by other health care professionals. If it works there, it will work locally too. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Plagiarising success should be embraced and extended. It saves time and money.

9.      Encourage and enable shared CPD. People who learn together work well together. Take a lead role and responsibility for increasing understanding amongst all local health care professionals about what GP commissioning entails and how everyone has a part to play in making it a success. 

10.  Consider sharing budgets. Where healthcare professionals e.g. optometrists or dentists refer directly or indirectly (via general practice) to secondary care, consider how to share responsibility for budgets. Develop agreements for direct referral to reduce transaction costs. Give them the freedom to test innovative approaches that minimise referral in order to keep care in the community.





Editors notes


·         The Health Care Professional (HCP) Commissioning Network works alongside the National Clinical Commissioning Clinical Leaders Network to broaden professional influence in GP commissioning. brings together local and national clinical leaders from nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, optometry and the allied health professions to discuss, debate and recommend how GP commissioning can be further developed to benefit from the insights and experience of a wide range of health care professionals, alongside GPs.

·         The HCP Commissioning Network is supported by NHS Networks as part of PBC Connections - an online resource centre for clinical commissioning, sponsored by the Department of Health http://pbc.networks.nhs.uk/

·         NHS Networks’ mission is to support innovation and improvement in health and care, and the role of networks in promoting learning and change. It provides a common space in which leaders, clinicians, managers and support staff and their partners beyond the NHS can explore ideas, pool experience, solve problems and share information.  For more information please contact:katherine.andrews@nhs-commissioning.net Tel: 07805 027 463.

·         The network is open to any health or social care professional who would like to engage in commissioning. To join the network, or find out more, visit the Healthcare Professionals Commissioning Network website (http://www.networks.nhs.uk/nhs-networks/healthcare-professionals-commissioning-network) or contact katherine.andrews@nhs-commissioning.net. Tel: 07805 027 463

·         For more information about this story, contact HCP Commissioning Network’s Communications lead:

Georgina Craig

Tel: 07879 4800005

Email: georgina@gcraigassociates.co.uk