Tips for commissioners and strategic leads

The following tips are offered to commissioners and strategic leads to answer the question: How will I know that I am doing a good job of commissioning for Independent Living outcomes for older people?

  • You are investing in ways to increase the voice of older disabled people, including those with high support needs such as those with dementia
  • You are co-producing all throughout the commissioning cycle - with older disabled people who will actually need the support you are commissioning, not just those who are easier to consult with
  • You are offering a very broad range of service and support options
  • An increasing proportion of people who receive support are able to do something different
  • Older disabled people with high support needs, such as those with dementia, are recognised as people and able to participate in family, community and civic life
  • You are commissioning across the boundaries of health, social care, housing, transport
  • Different parts of your organisation know what each are doing
  • You are transforming public services, not just making them more efficient

Commissioners and strategic leads play a key role in embedding Independent Living for older people at a strategic level. This includes creating and shaping places and environments, not just specific services, that enable older people to have voice, choice and control over the support they need to live their everyday lives.

Improving the strategic commissioning of public services: A joint LGA/CBI vision (2008) explains the principles of strategic commissioning, including an overview of the commissioning cycle.

Information about outcome-based commissioning is also available from the DH Care Network on Better Commissioning.

Resources focused on commissioning for better outcomes for older people include:

An increasing number of resources are focusing on commissioning for outcomes related to personalisation (for people of all ages):

Few resources are focusing yet on commissioning for outcomes related to Independent Living, which encompasses aspects of personalisation but extends far beyond health and social care.  This is a gap in the knowledge base that needs filling. Projects such as the South East Regional Initiative on Independent Living and Older People, a two-year programme sponsored by the Office for Disability Issues, will help to fill this gap.

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Click here for case studies of how others have embedded Independent Living at a strategic level.

Click here for a comprehensive list of reports, toolkits, projects and other resources related to Independent Living and older people.


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