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The commissioning cycle for adult health and social care services

Rochdale Borough Council is a commissioning council. We provide and commission a range of adult health and social care services across the borough of Rochdale.  

Our approach to the commissioning cycle

We've committed to use the commissioning cycle as a framework to deliver a council-wide approach to delivering adult health and social care services.

The 6 steps of the commissioning cycle will also enable us to make evidence-based decisions about the services we provide.

Illustration of the 6 steps to the commissioning cycle.

Step 1 of the commissioning cycle: challenges

Our commissioning challenges are many and varied. At the beginning of the cycle, a problem can be identified, for example an increase in demand or a change in the landscape that needs responding to. The challenge for us is how we redefine the offer, to meet the need. This needs to show how we're improving lives, not just saving money. It's about a person-centred approach which puts residents at the centre of service redesign. This ensure we deliver high quality and efficient services that offer value for money, and social value in with Rochdale's vision for public service reform.

Step 2 of the commissioning cycle: know your residents

The individual needs of our residents should be at the heart of our decision-making. By understanding the communities we work with, using a wide-range of qualitative and quantitative data and information, we understand what services we need to commission. this also allows us to identify any gaps in the market and understand how we can develop the market to meet these gaps helping to attract new providers into our borough.

By ensuring our residents'' voices are heard and understood, through effective engagement and consultation, we can inform and implement effective decision-making across the commissioning service.

Step 3 of the commissioning cycle: outcomes

The outcomes we aim to achieve need to be measureable. Our vision needs to clearly set out what we are going to achieve, so we can measure the impact of the changes and how they are benefitting our residents and communities. We must have a clear vision and outcomes based approach, which ensures we are offering social value and the best use of the 'Rochdale pound'.

What could change look like? This key question is often asked at the options appraisal stage of the commissioning cycle. To achieve the best possible commissioning outcomes we use market appraisals to help identify new service delivery models, for example social enterprises. We approach the commissioning landscape looking at 'what do we need', not 'what we have got'.

Step 4 of the commissioning cycle: knowing our market

If significant change is needed, the current market place and provision may not be geared up to meet any new demand. this stage of the commissioning cycle focusses on market engagement, to help understand and ensure that providers are ready to work in new ways. Our policy includes piloting services, prior to implementation to help test new ways of working. An evidence-based policy helps to deliver the best possible outcomes.

Step 5 of the commissioning cycle: how will we get there?

We use STAR Procurement to ensure a rigorous procurement evaluation and decision-making process. STAR also offer ongoing commissioning support during the implementation stage. Our commissioning strategy is also pioneering the development of detailed performance monitoring, and will include pathway and performance indicators. We also monitor key milestones through implementation plans. All commissioning processes will fit into the council's existing procurement procedures, to help us achieve our goals.

Step 6 of the commissioning cycle: what is the final impact?

We always assess the impact and effect of our projects, for example has it achieved the outcomes specified? Has it delivered other outcomes or objectives? What has happened as a result of the project?

Although the last stage, we are always mindful of the need to check the impact of our commissioning work through the cycle, with performance indicators clearly checking and monitoring progress. 

How you can help us develop services 

As a commissioning council we want to maximise opportunities for collaboration, develop new ideas and encourage innovation about the right way to meet community needs.

If you feel you can help us develop services we want to hear from you.

Please consider the our commissioning statements and our wider locality plan to better ensure your enquiry supports our current service demands and needs.

Find out how to contract services



01706 922841

Phone: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm

Adult Care Commissioning Team
Floor 3
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU