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GMCVO survey on commissioning: findings
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  1. GMCVO survey on commissioning: findings Audience: voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations that deliver health and social care services in Greater Manchester. Purpose: to get a ‘snapshot’ of the issues surrounding commissioning the VCS to deliver public services; to capture views on the Commissioning Framework for Health and Well-being.

  2. Respondents: facts and figures • 31 organisations completed the survey • Annual income: one third of participating organisations have an annual income of between £100,000 and £250,000. • Almost half have 5 – 20 employees. Six organisations have less than 5 employees. • Good geographical spread across Greater Manchester but a high proportion (42%) working in Manchester. • Range of organisations working in mental health, BME groups, counselling, disabled groups.

  3. Question one: do you deliver public services? Yes: 73% No: 27% • Question two: if not, would you consider doing so in the future? Yes: 67% No: 0% Maybe: 6% Not applicable: 28%

  4. The Commissioning Framework: a summary • Outcomes-based commissioning • More local control over services • Better partnership working, including the VCS. • VCS organisations, particularly those which are user-led, more involved in needs assessments and service planning through LAAs

  5. The Commissioning Framework: a summary • Independent sector and VCS organisations to enter the market and bid for public service contracts. • ‘Market development’. • Develop new services to meet gaps in provision • More time • Fair, transparent procurement practices

  6. Question 7: one of the proposed actions for commissioners is to ‘establish a local provider forum’. What are your views on this? • Varying levels of current engagement. • A positive response on the whole • Provider forums must be: • independent, • clear in their remit and role, • open to newcomers and service users, • adequately funded • supported by infrastructure.

  7. Question 7: one of the proposed actions for commissioners is to ‘establish a local provider forum’. What are your views on this? • Forums must NOT: • be a ‘talking shop’ • be dominated by commissioners and larger organisations • exclude pan-borough organisations • force organisations into unnecessary competition with one another.

  8. Question 7: one of the proposed actions for commissioners is to ‘establish a local provider forum’. What are your views on this? “Good idea to share experiences and resolve common issues. Also an opportunity for commissioners to get to know providers better.”

  9. Question 7: one of the proposed actions for commissioners is to ‘establish a local provider forum’. What are your views on this? “I think this is needed but it has to be truly representative and two-sided - i.e. not just a forum for commissioners to notify providers of their plans.”

  10. Question 7: one of the proposed actions for commissioners is to ‘establish a local provider forum’. What are your views on this? “It will speed the process of setting us, VCS organisations, up against one another as we compete for the contract / money. The consequences of this are reasonably obvious such as reduced collaborative working”.

  11. Question 7: one of the proposed actions for commissioners is to ‘establish a local provider forum’. What are your views on this? “Good idea”

  12. Question 8: how could commissioning be made simpler so local VCS organisations can more easily access public sector contracts? • Less bureaucracy, simpler application process • More flexible accreditation schemes • Opportunities clearly advertised; info shared • Greater transparency in commissioning process

  13. Question 8: how could commissioning be made simpler so local VCS organisations can more easily access public sector contracts? • One point of contact • Support and training to build capacity and navigate the tendering process; more time to prepare bids • Payment in advance; development funding; full cost recovery • Training for commissioners on how VCS organisations operate; commissioners to share info more

  14. Question 8: how could commissioning be made simpler so that local VCS organisations can more easily access public sector contracts? “Documents are generally overwhelming for small voluntary organisations with limited human resources and infrastructure. Community organisations need the support to capacity build.”

  15. Question 8: how could commissioning be made simpler so that local VCS organisations can more easily access public sector contracts? “Less complex forms to complete. Training for commissioners on what they are commissioning. Training for VCS organisations on the commissioning process.”

  16. Question 8: how could commissioning be made simpler so that local VCS organisations can more easily access public sector contracts? “Procurement based on lowest price…ultimately leads to larger organisations benefiting as they can achieve economies of scale… In such a context it is difficult for new and/or smaller providers to enter the market place.”

  17. Question 8: how could commissioning be made simpler so that local VCS organisations can more easily access public sector contracts? “I don’t know”

  18. Key messages • Support from commissioners is seen as crucial • Tendering for contracts is complicated, time-consuming and costly • Enthusiasm for a better engagement; VCS providers keen to expand their role in public service delivery • A willingness to work with commissioners to help tackle common problems