The Department of Health has awarded £56,500 to a non-profit commissioning support body set up by three charities, to enable it to help other healthcare charities become commissioning support organisations themselves.
The grant for 2012 is to Neurological Commissioning Support (NCS), an organisation set up by the MS Society, the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Parkinson’s UK to provide advice and guidance to statutory commissioners of neurological services.
NCS will use the money to “extend the benefits of user-led commissioning support to other health sector charities”, according to its chief executive Sue Thomas.
“We’ve been talking to commissioners of health and social care all over England, showing how best practice can not only change lives but save money, feeding directly into commissioners’ targets,” she said.
“This approach works well for people who have neurological conditions, and we think it can work with other conditions too.”
The project aims to transfer NCS’s skills in commissioning support for neurology to other organisations and their patient groups through a programme of mentoring, training, support and hands-on experience. If appropriate, NCS may even help others to become commissioning support organisations themselves.
The project will run for two years, with NCS supporting three voluntary sector organisations each year. The initial grant of £56,500 will cover the first year.
The grant comes out of the DoH’s £3.3m 2011/12 Innovation, Excellence and Service Development Fund, which will support 57 projects around the country.