What is it about?

In local mental health services, the simple 'model' of commissioning (based on the ideal of a sequential cycle) was not fully implemented with the main focus being on procurement and contracting. We found some examples of commissioning leading to service improvement but it seems to have been limited in its ability to change the system. Barriers include commissioners’ capacity+competence, ineffectual systems in their organisations, and fragmentation between different stakeholders in the process.

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Why is it important?

To lead whole system change the commissioning function needs to be adequately resourced and skilled with better integration across public sector functions and organisations. Greater emphasis needs to be placed on implementing the full commissioning cycle, including the engagement of relevant stakeholders throughout the process and the practical application of outcomes. This research adds to the limited body of empirical work regarding commissioning in mental health.

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This page is a summary of: Mental health commissioning: master or subject of change?, Mental Health Review Journal, September 2014, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/mhrj-04-2014-0013.
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