Commissioning is at the core of primary health network activity.

North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) plays a significant role across Melbourne’s CBD, northern and western suburbs: researching, collaborating, co-designing and funding health services that respond to the needs of the communities we represent.

In 2021–22 the organisation contributed more than $59 million to commissioning in our region, across a range of settings including general practice, aged care, alcohol and other drugs, allied health, pharmacy, paediatric care and mental health.

Commissioning is the process by which we work with people with lived experience, those who use health services in our region, communities and health providers to understand how health and wellbeing needs are being supported, and how they can be improved, across our region. We are committed to supporting services to provide the right care for residents, in the right place, at the right time.

Commissioning at NWMPHN is guided by our Commissioning Framework.

These principles are underpinned by the Quintuple Aim for Care Improvement.

Our commissioning principles

  • Consumer-centred

    We ensure that the voice, experiences and preferences of people in our region are at the centre of our commissioning approach.

  • Health equity

    We prioritise people and groups most in need to improve health equity, recognising that everyone has the right to the best health care and outcomes possible, while also ensuring the services are delivered in a culturally safe and appropriate manner.

  • Evidence

    We ensure that commissioning activities and decisions are informed by evidence and need, leveraging data and insights wherever possible.

  • Co-design and engagement

    We collaborate with our stakeholders, including community members, health providers, health services to deliver appropriate and inclusive solutions. This includes undertaking respectful, meaningful and purposeful engagement to build trust and cultural safety.

  • Strengths-based

    We recognise and build on the strengths of providers and partners to flexibly and responsively commission services to meet evolving health needs.

  • Value for money

    We drive value for money and efficient use of resources by measuring outcomes and costs, and by partnering with other commissioners to strengthen integration and reduce duplication.

  • Quality and safety

    We set high standards for quality and safety of care, and use data and evidence to drive continuous quality improvement.

  • Environmental impact

    We consider the environmental impact of our commissioning decisions and encourage sustainable solutions.

The commissioning approach

Commissioning is an iterative and cyclical process that ensures the health services and programs we fund are responsive and evolve in line with community need as it changes over time.

The 3 core stages of our commissioning approach are:

  1. Develop Insight: We use evidence and research to understand the health and wellbeing needs in a particular area or community. We consult with community and service providers to understand their perspectives.
  2. Plan and Deliver: We plan, design and implement solutions to the needs prioritised in the initial stage. This stage ensures outcomes and interventions are clearly defined and appropriate.
  3. Evaluate and Improve: We work with service providers to monitor outcomes, share lessons learnt and evaluate the impact of the services we commission.

Read more about the NWMPHN commissioning framework