Investment decisions in specialised commissioning


CIPFA research on behalf of NHS England

By Dan Wake, Senior Researcher, Analytics & Research, CIPFA

NHS England is responsible for commissioning specialised services to meet a broad range of health and care needs. These services range from renal dialysis and secure inpatient mental health services, through to treatments for rare cancers and life threatening genetic disorders. NHS England concluded that there was no existing method for relative prioritisation that could be directly applied to the process of prioritising proposed investments in specialised services, and has sought to develop such a method to assist with investment decisions

A public consultation called ‘Developing a Method to Assist Investment Decisions in Specialised Services’ was held between 11 April and 11 May 2016 and requested feedback on a new method put forward by NHS England which would be used by the Clinical Priorities Advisory Group (CPAG) when making recommendations on investment decisions for 2016/17.

The consultation recommended a prioritisation process which ranks relative priorities using a matrix which maps the relative incremental costs and incremental benefits of a particular treatment or intervention using a 1–5 scale (where 1 is the highest). These rankings will then be used to inform funding decisions for specialist services by NHS England.

The CIPFA Research team was appointed by NHS England to:

  • help develop the online survey questions
  • identify the key themes emerging from the consultation, by undertaking detailed analysis of the written feedback from 122 respondents
  • provide a management summary highlighting the key issues from both the quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Our report was used to inform NHS England’s response to the consultation and develop the process which is now in place for 2016/17.

Discover more

  • CIPFA Research is a team of senior researchers and analysts who between them have many years’ experience providing qualitative and quantitative research services. The research also draws on public sector expertise from within CIPFA’s networks. Find out more.