Commissioning high-quality care for people with long-term conditions: research summary

Nuffield Trust
Publication year:
Place of publication:

Effective commissioning is a core priority of the Coalition Government’s reforms to the NHS in England. There has been extensive research into the effects of commissioning over the last two decades, but little analysis of what commissioners actually do. The Nuffield Trust was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research (NIHR HS&DR) Programme, to conduct a two-year study of commissioning practice in three high-performing primary care trust (PCT) areas (Calderdale, Somerset and the Wirral). In all three areas, commissioning NHS care for people with long-term conditions was observed to be very labour-intensive, often focused on making small but marginal service changes, for which the effort involved did not always appear proportionate to improvements in services or outcomes secured. A constant background was the lack of financial resources, which inhibited changes. However, in the light of the Francis Inquiry Report, the quality of NHS-funded care will come under greater scrutiny, so commissioners will need to make judicious use of peer review and other data to support their decisions. From April 2013, GP-led clinical commissioning groups assume responsibility for funding, planning and procuring health services for their local communities; and they will have to justify how they commission care for people with long-term conditions. This research summary is based on a full report available on the NIHR website. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
long term conditions, NHS trusts, primary care trusts, care providers, commissioning, health care, clinical commissioning, clinical commissioning groups;
Content type:
Register/Log in to view this resource

Key to icons

  • Free resource Free resource
  • Journal article Journal article
  • Book Book
  • Digital media Digital media
  • Journal Journal

Give us your feedback

Social Care Online continues to be developed in response to user feedback.

Contact us with your comments and for any problems using the website.

Sign up/login for more

Register/login to access resource links, advanced search and email alerts