Commissioning event at Wandsworth Council

Today I attended a commissioning event on Drug and Alcohol services at Wandsworth Council. This is of course not in our area, but I thought it would be useful to go and learn how councils operate. Most councils now outsource (commission) Alcohol and Drug services
The process is that interested bidders fill in a PQQ (Pre-Qualification Questionnaire) with financial information and previous experience details. The council then shortlists prospective bidders and issues an ITT (Invitation to Tender) and then chooses the provider(s) So while the PQQ gives some indication of what is required it is only when the ITT is released that it is made totally clear what they require.
In the presentations they talked about a holistic service focussed on rehabilitation and prevention. An understanding of the justice system is also very important and they often mentioned ‘dual diagnosis’ as a undervalued problem.
So what is in it for us? I talked to both the council commissioner and a provider and mentioned that as University we could provide research. The commissioner told me that they do some in house research/evaluation but they could consider commissioning some specialistic research. The provider (a manager from Whittington Hospital) told me that they are generally given just enough money to provide the service. However, there was a strong emphasis on the creation of consortia. This is where I think we could fit in: we could make a particular consortia stronger by providing pre and post analysis of the intervention.
I will try to find out if and when Newham will set out its commissioning strategy for alcohol and drug misuse.

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About stefanocasalotti

Senior lecturer at University of East London Research area: molecular neuroscience: mechanisms of addiction General interest: a greener and more peaceful world
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