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Strategic commissioning and market shaping

This page shares examples of learning from direct support delivered to councils and from communities of practice we have established and support. It also directs commissioners to a range of helpful resources developed by us and external organisations, to help inform your strategic commissioning and market shaping activity.

As a programme, we offer direct support to councils looking to review their strategic commissioning and market shaping strategy and approaches. 

Additionally, we also offer commissioners guidance and share innovative ideas and example approaches from across the country to give insight into the fundamentals of strategic commissioning.

We do not prescribe a set model or way of doing things, but rather give authorities the support, guidance and dedicated time and space to understand the best way forward for them, according to their local needs and circumstances.

Direct support

The examples below give insight into the type of direct support that we may arrange for a council, the processes followed and the outcomes that can be achieved. 

As every piece of support is specific to that individual council’s needs, this is not limited to the examples described below. Support may be in the form of a short, sharp review (of a few days) or a longer term support to deliver improvement (a few days per week, for a few months). 

Please contact [email protected] if you are interested in discussing this type of support.


Care at home community of practice

In 2023/2024, we worked alongside North East ADASS to establish a group of commissioners interested in working on and reviewing challenges within providing support to people at home.

The group met monthly across the year to discuss best practise and share learning. As part of this process, Leeds City Council shared insights into their community health and wellbeing service.

Building community capacity/developing micro-providers' community of practice

We have established a dedicated community of practice (CoP), which has grown from 36 local authorities to a membership of 72 councils and 172 commissioners and practitioners as of March 2024. 

It covers all aspects of personalisation with a focus on the development of the self-directed support marketplace. There have been monthly meetings offering open networking, specialist speakers and discussion. 

The COP provided a space for commissioners to develop their self-directed support marketplace with the following support:

  • monthly virtual meetings
  • mailing list shared 
  • document library with tools and templates, resources and business cases 
  • development of common approach to assessing impact and outcomes of micro services
  • consortium commissioning 
  • peer support;
  • baseline self-assessment.

To express interest in joining the COP and taking part in regular meetings, please contact [email protected]

Additional resources and information

Guidance and resources from PCH and others that may be useful for commissioners to consider in planning their commissioning strategy:

Better Care Fund

Our Better Care Fund Support Programme has a wide range of tools, support and guidance around integrated commissioning and partnership working with health.

Autistic people and people with a learning disability

We have a range of case studies and guidance focused specifically on commissioning services for autistic people and people with a learning disability.

Digital transformation

Our digital transformation programme has a range of case studies and support showing innovative practise across councils, which may support commissioners looking to reshape their market through technology.