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National Homeless Advice Service

Getting partners involved

No strategy for accommodation and support can be delivered without support services commissioned from the independent sector.

Generally, Supporting People teams should take the lead in investigating the viability and potential efficiencies to be gained by joint commissioning, and improved or more consistent commissioning practice.



Commissioning practice: self-assessment checklist

Authorities may wish to self-assess their commissioning practice against the following checklist, (based on report for North East Councils):

  • Do you have a robust system of contract and performance management for all the services? And does it reflect risk?
  • Are there processes in place to benchmark costs that compare costs, quality, performance and outcomes with comparable authorities or others in the region?
  • Have you streamlined into a single process your commissioning, procurement and contract management processes, so that there’s no duplication and joint funding arrangements can be made?
  • Have opportunities been identified for working collaboratively with other authorities or agencies where this will reduce costs and/or improve the quality of work through access to wider information and expertise?
  • Are there opportunities for departments to work collaboratively to achieve efficiencies and service improvements?
  • Have procurement processes been reviewed against the full range of practices to establish whether there are more cost-effective alternatives, such as joint procurement and framework agreements?

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Monitoring arrangements

At a casework level, many authorities have set up groups of stakeholders and service providers to monitor individual and overall pathways through their local accommodation and support framework.

Where a central accommodation and support gateways is in operation, such groups also monitor the performance of the gateway and the information it can provide about supply and demand and outcomes for service users.

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