Title: Commissioning for Health and Wellbeing: an introduction
Edited by: Jon Glasby
Publisher: The Policy Press
Reviewer: Michaela McAndrew RMN CMHN, community mental health nurse
What was it like?
This is a topical subject in light of the recent passing of the health and social care bill. It appears that nurses will all need to become more aware of commissioning and this book describes what it is, where it comes from and how to do it. It also gives thorough explanations about how to assess need, how to decommission services and different models of service commissioning and provision. The book is largely based on the NHS though uses examples from other organisations to highlight various points.
What were the highlights?
This book is user friendly. It is broken into easy-to-read chunks and starts at the beginning assuming no prior knowledge. As a beginner in this area I found the introductory chapters extremely helpful in giving a history and a basic description of the various models.
Strengths & weaknesses:
It is accessible and easy to understand, it uses case examples, which makes the theoretical explanations easy to apply to various frontline areas of healthcare. The only weakness was that it is focussed on the NHS, both in terms of history, policy and examples. This makes it a valuable resource for UK NHS based readers but it probably would not be as relevant to international readers.
Who should read it?
This title describes itself as a textbook and indeed there are exercises at the end of each chapter giving the impression it is a course text for those studying health and wellbeing management or commissioning. I believe however, that it is a valuable read for all nurses, midwives and other health professionals as the way our healthcare services are being planned and purchased is changing and as frontline clinicians it is important that nurses have an understanding of these processes to influence them in a way to benefit our service users.