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Developing world class commissioning competencies in care services in England: the role of the service improvement agency

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Michelle Cornes, Jill Manthorpe, Peter Huxley, Paul Waddington, Martin Stevens, Sherrill Evans

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249 - 256
Number of pages8
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

King's Authors


This article provides an insight into the support needs of health and social care commissioners seeking to develop world class commissioning competencies and the role of service improvement agencies in meeting these needs. Reporting findings from the evaluation of one service improvement agency based in England, we focus on the 'improvement supports' (the products and services) that were delivered by the 'Care Services Improvement Partnership' through its 'Better Commissioning Programme'. In-depth interviews were carried out with 25 care commissioners (n = 25) exploring how the Programme was used in their day to day work, its perceived value and limitations. Given the lack of employer-led training and induction we conclude that service improvement agencies play an important role in developing commissioners' skills and competencies. However, we suggest that achieving world class commissioning may depend on a more fundamental rethink of commissioning organisations' approaches to learning and development.

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