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Singing from the same hymn sheet? Commissioning of preventative services from the third sector

Robin Miller (Health Services Management Centre and Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK)
Kerry Allen (Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK)
Catherine Mangan (Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK)
Jon Glasby (Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK)

Journal of Integrated Care

ISSN: 1476-9018

Publication date: 30 September 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the delivery of preventative services for older people from third sector organisations (TSOs) and the extent to which current commissioning arrangements enables the aspirations of policy to be achieved.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews with key-contacts within a sample of TSOs which had been identified by directors of Adult Social Services as delivering one of the top three preventative interventions in their local authority area.

Findings

There was evidence of considerable trust between local authorities and TSOs and as a consequence TSOs were given autonomy to develop holistic and integrated models of delivery that supported rather than diverted the TSOs’ core missions. Both sectors found it difficult to set target outcomes and connected performance frameworks for preventative services. As a consequence a major element of the commissioning cycle is not being completed and TSOs cannot be confident that they are using their resources as effectively as possible.

Research limitations/implications

This study was based in one English region, and would benefit from being extended to other English regions and home nations.

Practical implications

Universities, policy makers, commissioners and the third sector need to work together to develop common outcome frameworks for preventative services and to gather consistent data sets that can be more easily synthesised to give a “realistic” understanding of the impact of different interventions and delivery models.

Originality value

The paper contributes to the limited evidence bases of commissioning of TSOs and preventative services.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This article presents independent research commissioned by the NIHR School for Social Care Research. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR School for Social Care Research or the Department of Health, NIHR or NHS.

Citation

Miller, R., Allen, K., Mangan, C. and Glasby, J. (2013), "Singing from the same hymn sheet? Commissioning of preventative services from the third sector", Journal of Integrated Care, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 288-299. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICA-07-2013-0026

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited