Effective Commissioning

Excellent value for money

Some commissioners, and those who contract nutrition and dietetic series, can sometimes have limited or a conceptualised knowledge of the role of a dietitian beyond that of obesity and diabetes. This can lead to an undervaluing of dietitians' input and they are less likely to reap the rewards of commissioning or contracting nutrition and dietetic services.

If, however, dietetics is appreciated as part of a holistic, integrated package of care focused on evidence-based outcomes achievable for the patient, the commissioner and/or contractor can then put in place a complete package on a one stop basis.

It is vital to consider the following when thinking about commissioning and/or contracting of nutrition and dietetic services:

Is the service offered evidence-based?
  • Dietetic services have a tried & tested model reviewed and developed over many years.
  • Testimonials as a reference are available to find out more information.
The service is focussed on outcomes for the service user at all times.
  • Dietetic services are able to provide data on outcomes for all areas.
  • They provide demonstrable health outcomes for patients.
  • Evaluation is part of the dietetic profession's core business.
Dietitians are already commissioned / contracted.
  • Dietitians already provide services to a number of NHS, social care, charitable and independent sector providers in the area and have an excellent track record of innovation, efficiency and high quality services.
  • See the wider BDA website for further details.
The service has a wide network of partnerships and stakeholders it works with.
  • Dietitians are experts in networking across all fields and these additional networks have been built over time and provide important familiarity with the local area, with unique insights.
The service has a wide portfolio of services offered.
  • Dietitians include a wide range of education and training packages for healthcare professionals and service users.
The service offers quality and value for money.
  • Dietitians have a number of examples of QIPP projects which demonstrate their commitment to continuous improvement.

Further information

“Treatment by the dietitian has various social benefits. The health of the patient (and his/her family) improves, such that costs of health care can be avoided and the production of the patient increases. The treatment of patients with obesity and obesity-related diseases creates social benefits of € 0.4 to € 1.9 billion over a period of five years. For every € 1 spend on dietary counselling of these patients, society gets a net € 14 to € 63 in return: € 56 in terms of improved health, € 3 net savings in total health care costs and € 4 in terms of productivity gains.”

Cost-benefit Analysis of Dietary Treatment (Commissioned by the Dutch Association of Dietitians, November 2012).

You may also find the NHS England Resources for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) a useful tool.