How can I know whether our services are effective?

The process of commissioning effective services locally will be assessed by the NHS Commissioning Board using the Commmissioning Outcomes Framework (COF) – itself informed by the main domains of the NHS Outcomes Framework.

However, as a first step, NICE guidance is essential as a means for commissioners to understand what is effective care and what is not. NICE guidance contains information about the indicators of outcome that might be used by commissioners to assess local services. By this means, it is possible to introduce a range of local measures of effectiveness (outcome) as part of the contracts made between commissioners and service providers.

Use the sample mental health contract specifications we provide to help you get started with the contracting process. Each model specification draws on the outcomes, quality, innovation, prevention and productivity benefits.

The sample mental health contract specifications also draw on the associated arguments for why change is needed, and links are made with Payment by Results (PbR). Our cost consequence tool supports commissioners to model variations in the constituent parts of a care pathway and see the impact on PbR.

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