Beginning with the end in mind: How outcomes-based commissioning can help unlock the potential of community services

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This briefing is aimed at commissioners and providers considering developing an outcomes-based commissioning approach that includes community health services and is particularly relevant to providers of community services. It explains outcomes-based commissioning and outlines how it might help enable service transformation. 

It discusses the opportunities that outcomes-based commissioning gives for providers of communityservices, including the main technical considerations that will need to be addressed.

Key points set out in the briefing are:

  • A focus on outcomes is key to personalising care and focusing on people’s wellness, reflecting the value delivered by care rather than only the activity undertaken.
  • Commissioning based on outcomes has the potential to facilitate the transformation of care and is one way of overcoming the barrier of current payment mechanisms that do not support integrated care.
  • Effective engagement of patients is vital.
  • Providers of community health services could lead the development of new models that are enabled by outcomes-based commissioning, whether through collaboration with other local providers or by taking on the role of lead provider.
  • Careful thought is needed about how outcomes-based commissioning can be developed and applied locally where it can add most value.
  • Support to evaluate, share learning and manage risks will be crucial.

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