The commissioning market – what you told us
Earlier in the year we spoke to 63 local authorities to evaluate their tendering priorities and concerns. Thanks so much to everyone who spared their time to talk to us.
This research is part of an ongoing programme of work we undertake twice a year. This means we can identify year on year trends that really demonstrate quite how challenging the commissioning environment is. For instance, most commissioners (50% - 90%, depending on service) couldn’t say what the annual budget would be for the services they would commission in the next 12 months. Other highlights from our findings are set out below.
Consistently, the most likely services to be commissioned in the next 12 months are for disabled children (75%) and Looked after children (75%).
Commissioning priorities for the next 12 months have generally remained similar to what we found in October 2011. However the most noticeable change is the rise in the importance of family support services and a corresponding drop in tendering for youth services.
Expected commissioning of children’s centres is static at just over a third (37%). However far fewer local authorities now know when they will outsource the tendering process for children’s centres.
The biggest proportional drop in tendering contracts is for Runaways/Missing children services, now at 11% down from 20%.
Services experiencing funding decline over the next 12 months
At the time of the research 83% of Local Authorities did not expect to experience funding to be reduced in the next 12 months. However of the 17% percent who still expect reduced funding, this tends to be across the spectrum of services, but particularly youth services, and minority groups, such as traveller children, young refugees and runaways/missing children.
13% of Local Authorities may still experience reductions in their children’s centres budget over the next 12 months.
Service areas expected to introduce consider payment by results or introduce spot purchasing in the next 12 months
There has been a notable increase in the number of Local Authorities who are considering introducing payment by results. The biggest increase is for family support service, with 1 in 4 now considering Payment by Results, up from only 4% in October 2011. This compares to 1 in 5 for Looked after children services, and 1 in 10 for advocacy, children centres, disabled children, and substance misuse services.
Again, thank you so much to everyone who gave us their time to take part in this research. If you’d like to know anything more about the work and our findings do get in touch with Jo Cleaver in our Market Research department. We look forward to hearing from you!