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Case study: West London Alliance Strategic Commissioning Service

Updated: Apr 15, 2021

Client: West London Alliance (WLA), Strategic Commissioning service

Date: August 2018 – December 2018

Challenges faced by the client: West London Alliance had developed a suite of digital Strategic Commissioning Tool, which allowed local authorities to make better informed decisions. At the heart of their offering is CarePlace, a technology platform which brings local authorities and providers together, addressing market inefficiency and in doing so supporting the needs of young people to be effectively met through intelligent and collective procurement.

CarePlace provides eBrokering and eContracting functionality, improving the process of making placements but also giving local authorities real time information from the service’s Dynamic Purchasing Vehicles. This supports daily purchasing decisions but also collates to support provider negotiations, and market management. This data from the CarePlace system enables local authorities to be more intelligent customers and supports evidence-based commissioning. In turn, this facilitates effective market management, and helps providers to be work more effectively to fully meet the needs of local authorities.

WLA wanted to scale its provision to other local authorities outside of the West London but felt that doing so within the WLA would be difficult due to limits around scaling the team, marketing, quick decision making, and innovation. As WLA grew there was also a concern as to whether the WLA wanted to take on the necessary financial risk.

Support offered: We developed a detailed business plan to support WLA to assess how best to scale its Strategic Commissioning service. This included:

  • Market analysis: we supported the team to identify competitive advantages, conduct competitor analysis, and develop a growth plan for the different products it offered. We made sure to embed conservative growth assessments and that this was conducted in the context of broader strategic analysis of the current state of children’s and adult services in England.

  • Financial modelling: this was accompanied by detailed financial modelling, to understand the potential future financial viability and profitability of the service.

  • Stakeholder engagement: we supported the service to identify and develop engagement plans with the key stakeholder groups.

  • Legal and technical considerations: we supported the service to identify the key legal and technical concerns e.g. TUPE, cash flow, legal form and state aid.

Outcome achieved: WLA approved the business plan and implemented a transition period from which the service will be ‘spun out’ as an independent entity.


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