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How do we decommission services?

Decommissioning Process

Primary Health Networks (PHNs) have been established with the key objectives of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services for patients, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes, and improving coordination of care to ensure patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time.

Decommissioning is a crucial part of the commissioning cycle and is undertaken in a planned way to ensure that the most effective services are delivered, making best use of the resources available. In some instances, service reviews will result in a recommendation to end (decommission) a service or part of a service ensuring a smooth transition to new or alternate service delivery models in order to achieve the right outcomes for consumers. This process (decommissioning) enables the PHN to invest in new services in accordance with our strategic commissioning plans and health needs assessment.

HNECC PHN will give consideration to maintaining and developing existing services and negotiating changes in contracted service models to facilitate change prior to the decommissioning of a service or partial service.

HNECC PHN's decommissioning decision process is outlined below:

What Principles do we follow in decommissioning health services?

When looking to decommission a service, the following nine principles should be applied:

  1. Good communication
  2. Understanding needs and the provider market when considering options, risks, impacts and effects on users, providers and value for money
  3. Maintain a strong focus on the community/ consumers
  4. Have a clear rationale and seek consensus on the reason why change is needed
  5. Understand the impact, including the longer term ’whole-life’ impacts of services on users, providers and the wider community
  6. Focus on value for money which protects outcomes whilst improving productivity
  7. Robust risk management
  8. Understanding current and potential future costs, benefits and savings
  9. Provide good governance and clear decision-making processes

The Decommissioning Principles have been adapted by the NSW/ ACT PHN Commissioning Network for the Australian context and are based on the UK National Audit Office – Decommissioning Toolkits.

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