DDN December 2022 DDN Dec_2022 | Page 14



In the third part of our commissioning series we look at what ’ s needed to get the sector in the right place to deliver a world-class treatment system

In the first of this three-part series we surveyed the commissioning landscape after a decade of shrinking budgets ( DDN , October , page 12 ) and in part two we looked at how local areas go about making sure that people with lived experience are part of their partnership structures – in a meaningful way ( DDN , November , page 12 ). In this final part we focus

on where we go from here , and what ’ s ultimately needed for better commissioning .
Two of the words people most often use when it comes to effective commissioning are honesty and trust . Joint commissioning manager at Cornwall Council , Kim Hager , explains that her relationship with provider With You has always been an ‘ entirely joint approach ’
– one that ’ s made far stronger by a willingness to be frank on both sides . When the council ’ s supplier management team carried out an appraisal of the relationship , what came through was ‘ high challenge , high support ’, she says . ‘ We both said , “ we ’ ll take that ”. It ’ s very robust , very challenging , but they know it ’ s for the right reasons .’
MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING The mutual understanding is that both organisations are constantly learning together , she points out – something she feels is vital . ‘ I ’ ve noticed in some other areas that they devolve so many things to their provider – the
case management system , the engagement , everything – but we don ’ t do that . It ’ s been dialogue all along – dialogue , challenge , support , and they know we ’ ll fight their corner when required .’
Meanwhile , trust obviously needs to be an ‘ essential component of a strong and positive working relationship with commissioners ’, says executive director of services at WDP , Craig Middleton . ‘ The commissioners I work with are quite progressive in terms of finding new and exciting ways to solve a problem – that ’ s genuinely the case . It ’ s about having conversations with people and saying “ this is what ’ s
Ponomariova _ Maria / iStock