Policy Research Unit
Policy Research Unit
Current projects
New Models of Contracting
New Models of Contracting

Over the past few years, there has been increasing interest among healthcare policy makers in new models of contracting, which, it is thought, may have the potential to improve integration of services and allow better use of resources. This project, which commenced in 2015, focuses on three such new contractual models (‘alliancing’, ‘prime contractor models’ and ‘outcomes based contracting’). The overall purpose is to investigate why commissioners choose particular models of contracting, and what they think such models can achieve; to explore the characteristics of these new contractual forms, in particular how outcomes are measured and/or financial risk is shared between the parties; how the NHS standard contract is used in conjunction with the new models of contracting; and how the new contractual models contribute to the improvement and reconfiguration of services.

Although there is extensive research about other forms of contracting for healthcare little is known about alliancing, prime contracting and outcome based contracting,  which are new to the NHS. These new models have the potential to facilitate major changes to services for NHS patients, and this project will investigate their characteristics and effects to find out how they are working in practice.

Alliance contracting, prime contracting and outcome based contracting: What can the NHS learn from elsewhere?

This report summarises the findings of a literature review of the available evidence concerning the characteristics of these new contractual models and their implementation in other sectors. The available evidence is considered in order to draw out the lessons which may be learnt to aid the implementation of these models in the English NHS.

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