What is commissioning?

What is commissioning?

Commissioning is the continual process of planning, agreeing and monitoring services. Commissioning is not one action but many, ranging from the health-needs assessment for a population, through the clinically based design of patient pathways, to service specification and contract negotiation or procurement, with continuous quality assessment.

There is no single geography across which all services should be commissioned: some local services can be designed and secured for a population of a few thousand, while for rare disorders, services need to be considered and secured nationally.

What types of services do we commission?

From 1 July 2022 NHS Surrey Heartlands has taken on responsibility for planning and buying (or commissioning) healthcare for local people. Previously, this was done by Clinical Commissioning Groups, which no longer exist. For us, this means we commission services for a population of around 1.1 million people, which is about 90% of the total population of Surrey.

We receive money from central government and we use this to buy health and care across a range of different areas including local hospitals, community services, social care, ambulance services, mental health care and many other services. The ICB will also take on some areas of commissioning that currently sit with NHS England. The intention is that we will also be responsible for the commissioning and arranging of primary medical services, dentistry (primary, community and secondary services), community pharmacy and general ophthalmology (eye care services) in the future.

You can read more about these additional commissioning responsibilities that will be transferring in future by following the links below.