Commissioning care for people with dementia at the end of life: a mixed methods study.
Gotts, Zoe M
Lee, Richard P
Objectives To understand how end of life care for people with dementia is currently commissioned (.e contracted)and organised, with a view to informing the development of commissioning guidance for good quality community-based end of life care in dementia. Design Mixed-methods study; narrative review and qualitative interviews. Setting 8 NHS clinical commissioning groups and 5 Adult Services across England. Methods Narrative review of evidence; 20 semi structured interviews (telephone and face-to-face) with professionals involved in commissioning end of life care for people with dementia. Main outcome measures Summary of the existing evidence base for commissioning, commissioners’ approaches to the commissioning process for end of life care for people with dementia in England. Results In the context of commissioning end of life care for people with dementia, the literature review generated three key themes; (1) importance of joint commissioning; (2) lack of clarity for the process; and (3) factors influencing commissioning. In exploring health professionals’ perceptions of the commissioning process, ‘uncertainty’ was elicited as an overarching theme across the CCGs interviewed. Organisation of the process, lack of expertise, issues surrounding integration and the art of specification were considered important factors that contribute to the uncertainty surrounding the commissioning process. Conclusions The current evidence base for commissioning end of life care is limited with considerable uncertainty as how clinical commissioners in England undertake the process to ensure future services are evidence-based. Strengths and limitations of this study • The use of a multimethod approach (narrative review, qualitative interviews) allowed for triangulation of our findings. • The evidence indentified in the review may be limited given that ‘commissioning’ is a relatively new term in England. • The review presented is a narrative review; the manuscripts were not subject to a quality assessment process. • Generalisability of findings might be affected by the small number of published studies, their heterogeneity in methodologies, and small sample sizes. • The study highlights that information on commissioning specifically for health and social care in England is limited; this is mirrored in commissioners’ accounts.