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What are the Commissioning Strategies?
Whose needs have been represented within the strategies?
Why write Commissioning Strategies?

The Interim Commissioning Strategies for Bolton were published in April 2011. The strategies are the result of work between commissioners within social care, housing, social exclusion and NHS services.

The strategies aim to build upon current good practice in commissioning and provide a consistent and transparent approach across all health and wellbeing service areas.

The interim commissioning strategies and their appendices are available on the Downloads tab. More documents relating to health and social care commissioning in Bolton will be available from this page soon.

What are the Commissioning Strategies?

The Interim Commissioning Strategies show how local commissioners are improving local health and wellbeing services. Both documents are focused on outcomes and improving the quality of life for local people.

The strategies give a concise description of the changing needs of local people and how these changes will affect the demand for health and wellbeing services. The strategies also provide a description of the policy context in which local commissioners must work.

The interim commissioning strategies are structured according to the four stages of the commissioning cycle - analyse, plan, do and review. Learning and improving through experience is built into this cycle.


The activities needed to ensure that commissioners have the best information and understanding about the needs they are trying to meet.


The activities needed to ensure that commissioners produce quality plans to meet identified needs, within available resources and agreed timescales.


The activities needed to make the actual purchase of services, manage the performance of services and secure the outcomes identified at the plan stage.


The activities needed to ensure that the outcomes sought were delivered, that learning from the experiences of service users, providers and commissioners is captured and that this learning leads to improved services. These improvements then feed back into the commissioning process and the cycle recommences.

Whose needs have been represented within the strategies?

The interim commissioning strategies are about the development of services that meet the health and social care needs of:

  • Adults with Substance Misuse and / or Alcohol Misuse Problems
  • Adults with a Learning Disability
  • Adults with a Physical Disability
  • Adults with Sensory Impairment
  • Adults experiencing Mental Health problems
  • Adults with Long Term Life Limiting Conditions
  • Adults experiencing health conditions associated with ageing
  • Adults who care for other adults and
  • Adults facing chronic social exclusion

The interim commissioning strategies were developed through consultation and engagement with people who use the services that we commission.

This engagement work has produced a series of outcomes around which our commissioning activity will be based. We asked local people what was important to them. Their answers fell into four categories.

  • Achieving economic wellbeing.
  • Maintaining independence and being protected from harm.
  • Preventing deterioration, delaying dependency and supporting recovery.
  • Improving quality of life and promoting personalisation.

The strategies recognise diversity in the way services are to be provided, including delivery by the voluntary and community sector, and place the involvement of local people at their heart.

Why write Commissioning Strategies?

  • To outline the needs of local people.
  • To consider the current and future demand for commissioned services
  • To prioritise needs to make sure that we spend our money wisely.
  • To establish shared outcomes for people whose needs are the highest priority
  • To ensure that sure that our partners, service-users and carers are involved at every stage of the commissioning process.
  • To explain the vision for commissioned services.
  • To provide an outline of the national and local policy context.
  • To outline what actions are needed to improve services.

Children's and Adult Services Commissioning

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