Latest Public Sector News


Health + care 2015

Source: PSE - April/ May 15

Ralph Collett, managing director of CloserStill Media’s Medical Group, discusses the world of healthcare commissioning and the upcoming Health+Care show in London. PSE is the official media partner for the show.

Commissioning entered the health lexicon under the previous administration as a means of expressing a new and more patient-centric way of designing and delivering healthcare. Up until then we largely ‘procured’ or ‘contracted’, but in 2007 we moved towards not just commissioning, but World Class Commissioning. This was designed to give primary care trusts the skills they needed to be at the forefront of delivering health improvements to all parts of the local population. 

At its heart lay the principles of quality, innovation, productivity and prevention. Commissioners were encouraged to view World Class Commissioning as a critical means of embedding at local level the skills, capabilities and competencies required to respond to the future health challenges. 

A few years and a structural revolution later, arguably little has changed. The NHS still struggles to meet the challenges driven by an ageing population and lifestyle driven long-term conditions. The imperative for quality, innovation, prevention and productivity is indisputable if we want to find new ways of making people better and keeping well in a world where resource is not limitless, but demand appears to be. 

But has commissioning proved to be the elixir we were promised? Certainly it has grown and developed, supported by the introduction of GP consortia, which morphed into clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), with new architecture swiftly built around them, including the quick-to-merge commissioning support units (CSUs), clinical senates and academic health science networks. Some will survive, others may not. 

If we take the success of The Commissioning Show, part of Health+Care, which launched in 2011 and has since evolved in stature to reflect the NHS’s own evolvement, as a barometer we can be pretty confident that commissioning is alive and kicking. However, as health challenges become ever more complex, and the system ever more fragmented, an event that focuses on commissioning alone is of no real use to commissioners. To be of real value, they need to be able to access information and resources across the entire system in order to try and knit back together some of the fragmentation. 

Perhaps due to its constantly evolving nature, Commissioning and Health+Care have grown to be the UK health calendar’s must-attend event for more than 7,000 commissioners and health and social care providers across Europe. Known for its thought-leadership, unrivalled showcase for innovation and as a great place to network, it is unique in its approach, delivering six shows that reflect the six key strands that are central to the future of health and social care – Commissioning, Care Commissioning, Home Care, Integrated Care, Residential Care and Public Health – giving commissioners and providers access to a whole raft of system support in one convenient place.


We have listened carefully to what our delegates want and The Commissioning Show and Health+Care now deliver a programme that combines thought leadership – it doesn’t matter who will be saying it post-election, they’ll be saying it here – with practical sessions. We are one of the most significant investors in the NHS through our continuous professional development for many thousands of NHS staff. An unintended consequence of delivering an event at such scale is that it can become difficult to navigate, so this year we are introducing an innovative approach via a personalised plan based on areas of interest, organisation and job title. 

This means we can provide our delegates with two days that are highly tailored to their particular role and objectives. We are also reaching out into secondary care for the first time to help primary and secondary colleagues to work together and break down the dissolution of historic boundaries between secondary and primary care, as is advocated in NHS England’s Five Year Forward View exclusive Engagement Zone. 

The Commissioning Show 2015 will incorporate Strategic Clinical Network, GP system, Lead Provider Framework and Technology zones, plus a focus on the new Vanguard providers. There will be fewer ‘talk and chalk’ sessions and more opportunity to interact directly with other attendees, whether speaker, fellow delegate or exhibitor. 

New Knowledge Exchange sessions will offer a deeper learning experience, and there will be new opportunities for delegates to step out of the lecture theatres and engage in focused, in-depth discussion around shared challenges. 

It is less than 10 years since we first started thinking about commissioning as a mechanism to address the most serious health management challenges we have ever faced. As the health world watches Manchester and the Vanguard sites closely, we too will be observing with interest to see how our current six key strands thread together to support a continually emergent sector. 

Health+Care takes place on 24-25 June 2015 at ExCel, London. PSE is the official media partner for the show.

 Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >