The latest government reforms are leading to major structural changes in the way we commission health and social care services in England. With new GP consortia taking on 'hard' commissioning budgets and with local government taking more of a lead around public health, commissioning will remain a key activity - albeit in a very different context.
These changes are also taking place in difficult financial circumstances and in a rapidly evolving policy context. While tough times call for tough decisions, there is also a major opportunity for more locally-based approaches to commissioning and for innovative practice to emerge in the face of adversity. For GPs, PCTs (subject to future restructuring) and local government to deliver in this tough financial climate, the capacity and capability of individuals and organisations involved in commissioning needs to be strengthened.
A key specialism is current work around decision making and priority setting in health and social care. HSMC's interest in decision making concerns the exploration of the different priority setting tools and processes being utilised in health and social care.