The Department of Health launched World Class Commissioning (WCC) in May 2008. It is a programme taking the best practice from here and around the world to transform the commissioning activities of PCTs. It seeks to bring a different approach to commissioning that focuses on outcomes and involves patients, public, local authorities, clinicians and providers in making decisions about what services are needed and how to deliver them.
The programme involves an annual assessment of PCTs' commissioning capacity and capability as a mechanism to drive improvement. The assessment comprises a review of progress and development needs through extensive document reviews, feedback from local partners and self assessment. This is followed by a panel assessment with an expert panel involving the SHA, a PCT Chief Executive, a clinician, a local council representative and an international healthcare expert. The objective is to assess and assure the competence and capability of PCTs to deliver health gain for their local populations.
During its first year the assurance process was intended to identify a baseline against which improvement can be measured and to help PCTs establish a path to become world class organisations.