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

Author(s)

MILLER Robin, et al

Publisher(s):

Emerald

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. (Publisher abstract)


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