Table 2

Phases of the study and data collected

PhaseObjectivesMain tasksData collected
1Site selection and set-upIdentified three ‘high performing commissioners’ to participate in the studyCollated quantitative data on commissioning performance for all PCTs, and invited the top 20Publicly accessible data (eg, World Class Commissioning Competency Score; Hospital Episode Statistics)
Linked research to commissioning initiatives in sitesConfirmed participation of Calderdale, Somerset and Wirral, met with key stakeholders and identified commissioning initiatives to focus onField notes from orientation meetings with key stakeholders in each of the three sites
2OrientationMapped the individuals, organisations and processes allied to commissioningAssessed the current state of play in each case study site, fed back findings to key stakeholders; agreed focus for phase 3Fieldnotes from 23 meetings, 37 informal interviews, shadowing three commissioners and three feedback workshops
Developed partnerships with key stakeholders in sites
3In-depth case studiesExamined progress with commissioningExamined progress of commissioning in specified service areas and explored outcomes
Ran cross-site workshop to feedback data
Fieldnotes from 27 organisational visits and one cross-site workshop Semi-structured interviews with commissioners and providers (42 baseline, 29 follow-up); with senior executives (14 baseline, 9 follow-up) and with lead commissioning contacts in each site (30 over 15 months) Anonymised person-level Hospital Episode Statistics data
4Feedback and write-upFed back and validated emerging analysisRan second cross-site workshop and five analysis workshops with the research team
Wrote up findings gained from feedback from key stakeholders
Fieldnotes from cross-site workshop
Comments on emerging analysis from cross-disciplinary team and sites