Health and care commissioners have huge power and huge responsibility making decisions that can have immediate and long-lasting consequences in the communities they serve.

Commissioning for Sustainable Development is the process by which commissioners improve both the sustainability of an organisation and the way it provides services and interacts with people in the community. It focuses on the opportunity for developing sustainable models of care, improving sustainability performance across providers, and supports the commissioning of services to maximise wider social value.

Commissioning for Sustainable Development:

  • Saves money
  • Saves resources
  • Benefits staff and patients and the wider community 

Clinical Commissioning Groups are required to produce a Sustainability Report as part of their Annual Report.  It is recommended that Health and Wellbeing Boards also consider developing a Sustainable Development Management Plan which incorporates the various actions and objectives of their constituent members and provides an integrated overview of sustainability across a population area, and across commissioners and providers. 

Sustainability as part of the Commissioning Cycle

The Sustainable Development Unit has published guidance on how commissioners can embed sustainability into the planning for service design, procurement and performance management. See below.

Commissioning for Social Value

Commissioners and providers are faced with increasing pressure to do more with less as they seek to deliver more and better services under tighter budget constraints. Social Value is not just about squeezing suppliers or applying QIPP; it is about thinking creatively about how things could be done differently to ensure that the local community as a whole gets additional benefit through commissioning activity.  The Cabinet Office is currently finalising their guidance on the Act but The Social Value Guide from Social Enterprise UK is a useful summary of the Act. 

Carbon Management Clause for Providers

NHS Yorks and Humber have made great strides towards Commissioning for Sustainable Development and have developed a Carbon Management Clause for Provider Contracts which is starting to be adopted across the Region.  A short document is provided below as an example of how to include a carbon management clause in contracts.