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Strategic Commissioning: an essential learning resource


Media release from the Joint Improvement Team, Scottish Social Services Council and NHS Education for Scotland

Staff working in health, social care, the independent and third sectors can now access a valuable educational resource that helps them learn about the role of strategic commissioning and its importance in the context of health and social care integration in Scotland.

Developed by the Joint Improvement Team (JIT) in collaboration with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and NHS Education for Scotland (NES) the comprehensive e-learning resource:

  • positions strategic commissioning within the national policy context
  • defines what strategic commissioning is
  • explains the importance of the process

The e-learning resource is made up of seven modules and hosted on SSSC’s Learning Zone Each module is self-contained and staff can choose which modules to access according to their learning need or specific role and responsibilities related to planning and delivering services or support for people within health and social care. The first three modules provide an overview while modules four to seven cover the four parts of the Strategic Commissioning Cycle in depth.

Speaking at the Strategic Planning Network event on 11 September, 2015, "Scotland's Future - Integration six months on", Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, Shona Robison, highlighted the requirement for Integration Authorities to develop Strategic Plans to meet the needs of people and deliver effective services through the commissioning process.

She added:

"I am therefore pleased to launch the new Strategic Commissioning e-learning product produced by JIT, NES and SSSC. It is designed for professionals who work within the NHS, Local Authority, Independent or Third Sector and want to learn more about Strategic commissioning.

It is a valuable and comprehensive resource which will support practitioners and managers to understand the strategic commissioning cycle and review the stages of developing the strategic plan within the policy context."

The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 relates to the integration, planning, and delivery of certain adult health and social care services. It may also relate to other services such as children’s services and criminal justice social work where health and social care partnerships have chosen to include these. The Act places a legislative requirement on the NHS and Local Authorities to integrate adult services to:

  • improve the quality and consistency of services for patients, carers, service users and their families
  • provide seamless, joined up quality health and social care services in order to care for people in their homes, or a homely setting, where it is safe to do so
  • ensure resources are used effectively and efficiently to deliver services that meet the increasing number of people with long term conditions and often complex needs, many of whom are older


Reference: PR2015-012

Further Information From
Katie McWilliam, Joint Strategic Commissioning Programme Manager, Joint Improvement Team, email ; Barrie Wilson, Workforce Development Adviser, SSSC, email ; or Cheryl Harvey, Educational Projects Manager, NES, email . 

Note to Editors
NES is NHSScotland's national education and training Board. We are responsible for supporting NHS services to the people of Scotland through the development and delivery of education and training for all those who work in NHSScotland. We work closely with a range of partners to deliver our vision of Quality Education for a Healthier Scotland

The Joint Improvement Team (JIT) is a uniquely positioned strategic improvement partnership between the Scottish Government, NHSScotland, COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) and the Third, Independent and Housing Sectors. It provides a range of practical improvement support and challenge including knowledge exchange, developmental innovation and improvement capacity and direct practical support to local health, housing and social care partnerships across Scotland.

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) is the regulator for the social service workforce in Scotland. Our work means the people of Scotland can count on social services being provided by a trusted, skilled and confident workforce. We protect the public by registering social service workers, setting standards for their practice, conduct, training and education and by supporting their professional development. Where people fall below the standards of practice and conduct we can investigate and take action.