The following Local Government practice note Produced in partnership with Ros Ashcroft of DAC Beachcroft provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): This Practice Note contains guidance on subjects impacted by the Coronavirus Act 2020 (CA 2020). CA 2020, among other measures, makes provision to introduce changes to the Care Act 2014 duties on local authorities when needed during management of the pandemic. For details, see News Analysis: The Coronavirus Act 2020 and its impact on social care provision. For further information, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—social care tracker and Coronavirus (COVID-19)—local government tracker.
This Practice Note summarises:
what commissioning is in the context of local authority duties to provide health and social care
the legal requirements in respect of commissioning
integrated and joint commissioning, and
the risk of challenges to commissioning decisions
The term 'commissioning' has not been defined in legislation or case law and does not have an exact technical meaning.
'Commissioning' is an umbrella term used by local authorities and health providers to refer to the process by which arrangements are made with third parties:
to deliver services, facilities or resources
to exercise certain functions
on the authority's or health provider's behalf. This includes:
identifying and selecting a third party provider
agreeing the terms on which such services are provided and measured
It will often include a competitive tendering or procurement process.
As such, local authorities do not have a legal duty to commission particular services, or to be involved in commissioning at all. However, it will
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Coronavirus (COVID-19): The guidance detailing normal practice set out in this Practice Note may be affected by measures concerning process and procedure in the civil courts that have been introduced as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For guidance, see Practice Note: Coronavirus
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