Towards better commissioning

Posted on October 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

What is a commissioner? Depending on the context or your state of mind you might plausibly expect him or her to be a senior police officer, a member of a commission such as, for example, the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), or – in North America, my dictionary tells me – someone appointed to regulate a sport. ‘To commission’ is similarly ambiguous. It can mean bringing a newly-built building into operation or appointing someone to the rank of officer in the armed forces, but clearly these are a long way from the sense in which the concept is now widely discussed in social care. This has been succinctly defined – by the CSCI, in a recent publication rather strangely called Relentless optimism: creative commissioning for personalised care – as ‘the process of translating aspirations and need into timely and quality services’. This makes a commissioner – back to my dictionary – ‘the person who orders or authorises the production of something’. Commissioning certainly needs to

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