Creating a healthier, better connected Gippsland.

All About Commissioning Process

What is Commissioning?

Gippsland PHN defines commissioning as a continuing and collaborative process of strategic planning that involves needs assessment, service design, procurement, monitoring and evaluation.

Gippsland PHN invests in a range of services across the six local government areas of Gippsland.

A number of priority areas have been commissioned including:

  • After Hours Primary Health Care program
  • Alcohol and Other Drugs program
  • Doctors in Secondary Schools program
  • Integrated Team Care program
  • Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Stepped Care program
  • Place Based Flexible Funding program
  • Gippsland Psychosocial Support Program (PSP)

You can access Gippsland PHN’s overarching Commissioned Services Program Guidelines here.

You can learn more about Gippsland PHN’s Clinical Governance Framework here.

Primary Health Network Commissioning Principles

These Principles have been designed by Primary Health Networks (PHNs) in consultation with the Australian Government to assist in meeting the strategic objectives of the Commonwealth Department of Health’s PHN Program:

1. Understand the needs of the community by analysing data, engaging and consulting with consumers, carers, clinicians, providers, peak bodies, community organisations and other funders.

2. Engage with potential service providers well in advance of commissioning new services.

3. Putting outcomes for users at the heart of the strategic planning process.

4. Adopt a whole of system approach to meeting health needs and delivering improved health outcomes.

5. Understand the fullest practical range of providers including the contribution they could make to delivering outcomes and addressing market failure and gaps and encourage diversity in the market.

6. Co-design solutions; engage with stakeholders, including consumer representatives, peak bodies, community organisations, potential providers and other funders, to develop evidence-based and outcome-focused solutions.

7. Consider investing in the capacity of providers and consumers, particularly in relation to hard-to-reach groups.

8. Ensure procurement and contracting processes are transparent and fair, facilitating the involvement of the broadest range of suppliers, including alternative arrangements such as consortia building where appropriate.

9. Manage through relationships; work in partnership, building connections at multiple levels of partner organisations and facilitate links between stakeholders.

10. Develop environments high in trust through collaborative governance, shared decision-making and collective performance management.

11. Ensure efficiency, value for money, and service enhancement.

12. Monitor and evaluate through regular performance reports; consumer, community, clinician and provider feedback, and independent evaluation.

The Clinical Governance Framework and Commissioning
Cycle are underpinned by the Quintuple Aim

The Clinical Governance Framework provides best practice guidance in clinical governance with strong emphasis on leadership, culture and improvement as being fundamental to high-quality, safe care and service.

The Framework identifies the five domains and systems required to develop and maintain a high performing organisation and service.

The Framework is designed to provide the organisation and its commissioned health service organisations practical guidance on the systems and processes needed for sound clinical governance.

The Framework components can be tailored and scaled to best suit health services circumstances and best meet the needs of their consumers.

The Framework aligns closely with the Victorian Clinical Governance Framework.

You can view the Gippsland PHN Clinical Governance Framework here.

The Commissioning Cycle has four iterative segments which revolve around collaboration with the Gippsland community and stakeholders. It is supported by Gippsland PHN’s strategic functions of Health Planning, Practice Support, System Integration and Commissioning.

Gippsland PHN Commissioning Cycle

The Quintuple Aim of the effective primary care model seeks to drive the redesign of healthcare in order to:

  • Improve the health of the population by improving health outcomes and reducing disease burden.
  • Improve the patient experience of care by reducing waiting times, improving access to services and meeting consumer and family needs.
  • Improve healthcare cost efficiency by reducing costs in service delivery, reducing avoidable hospitalisations and increasing return on innovation costs.
  • Improve the work-life of health providers by increasing clinician and staff satisfaction, improving leadership and teamwork and creating sustainable and meaningful workplace.
  • Improve the health equity of the population by reducing economic, social and other obstacles to accessing health care.

Gippsland PHN's Commissioning Approach

Gippsland PHN’s Commissioning Approach is based on the Commissioning Cycle.

It seeks to demonstrate the complex considerations underlying each stage of the process:

The first step in the approach is to assess, understand and prioritise evidence-based priority outcomes based on current data, information and future forecasting to identify the needs of the community.

This is supported by the following activities:

  • Our Priorities
  • Analyse data, resources and the market
  • Consumer engagement
  • Research current evidence-based approaches

The second step seeks to work with stakeholders to plan and design services that meet the identified community needs and desired outcomes.

Groups such as Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people who identify as LGBTQI+, people residing in remote communities and others are recognised as having discrete needs and services. Approaches are therefore tailored to ensure their appropriateness.

This is supported by the following activities:

  • Service Gap Analysis
  • Designing services through co-design in response to priority needs
  • Consumer Engagement

The third step is to implement the commissioning strategy and procurement arrangement, which often involves a tender process facilitated via the Gippsland PHN Tenderlink platform.

Once a contract is in place with the preferred provider, Gippsland PHN will monitor service provider performance against the defined outcomes and objectives.

This is supported by contract management activities and reviews of service provision to ensure:

  • Safety & Quality
  • Efficiency
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Achievability
  • Risk Management
  • Cultural Appropriateness
  • Ethical alignment
  • Engagement with service users and other stakeholders
  • Workforce capacity, capability, sustainability and availability
  • Alignment with the organisation’s strategic objectives
  • Capacity Building

The final step in the commissioning approach is to review service provision against the defined objectives to ensure the organisation is achieving against the commissioning strategy, while evaluating the effectiveness of the procurement arrangements.

Feedback from strategic partners, contractors, consumers and carers is critical evidence to review progress.

This is supported by the following activities:

  • Strategy and Market Performance review
  • Engaging with stakeholders
  • Review strategic outcomes

Gippsland PHN recognises the importance of closing the loop with reviewing the outcomes of the commissioning process with the strategic goals of the organisation to ensure the alignment and outcomes required are being met.

The learning opportunity of this process enables quality improvement for further commissioning processes and ensures value for money, efficiency and efficacy.