Public health commissioning is essentially the buying and considering cost-effective ways of delivering a service. However, it is a complex process involving assessing and understanding a population's health needs, planning services to meet those needs, affording those services on a limited budget, and then monitoring the services procured.
Most commissioning revolves around:
1. Block contracts
2. Payment by results contracts between commissioners (e.g. the NHS, Clinical Commissioning Groups and local authorities) and providers such as hospitals, ambulance trusts, mental health trusts and the independent sector. There are also contracts with the voluntary or third sector.