We've been starting some exciting conversations with commissioners across England and Wales over the last month, and have so far run training for over 60 people, from Wales to Newcastle, Cornwall, Kent and Newham! Some common themes and questions are coming out which might be interesting to explore:
- If you are a 'lone commissioner' trying to promote outcomes and co-production within a local authority, what's the best way to influence others and spread the ideas? Some ideas so far have included; training; brining in expert practitioners from outside the LA; finding other good examples locally to learn from and highlight; finding small scale projects to test out the approach.
- What role does leadership play? In Wales, we had a big group discussion about how leaders have a role to give 'permission' to others to do things differently and give an amnesty of time to develop and test out new approaches.
- How can these ideas be taken to 'scale'. NEF's approach in other areas has been to start with small scale pilots and then use these to provide templates and examples to apply the same thinking to much bigger projects: for example, in Lambeth, we started with a 20k pilot within the youth offending service, and then applied the same approach to a 900k re-commission of all young people's services. Are there other ways of influencing at scale, and how have these worked?
Lots of interesting discussions are happening across the country, and it would be great to hear people's questions and experiences in this forum. For those interested in our work in Camden, there's a short film here with some interviews with commissioners and providers who were involved in the recommissioning of a mental health service: http://www.scie.org.uk/socialcaretv/video-player.asp?v=commissionin...