Achieving value in NSW Health through services focused on outcomes.

Last updated: 05 February 2020

​Commissioning for Better Value (CBV) is one of NSW Health’s statewide programs accelerating our move to value based healthcare. It also supports us to implement the NSW Government’s Commissioning and Contestability Policy and our annual Strategic Priorities.

In NSW Health, commissioning is a process of considering the outcomes that need to be achieved, and designing, implementing and managing a system to deliver these in the most effective way.

Shifting the focus from outputs to outcomes

Outputs are designed around the amount of activity being provided, whereas outcomes focus on the person receiving the service.

Designing, delivering and monitoring with a focus on achieving the desired outcomes drives value within the health system.

In traditional focus activities are designed and evaluated around achieving out puts.  In CBV focus, activities are designed and evaluated around achieving outcomes

A focus on outcomes can contribute to value by improving:

  • health outcomes that matter to patients and the community
  • experiences of receiving care
  • experiences of providing care
  • effectiveness and efficiency of care

Commissioning in NSW HealthReview and evaluate, Analyse service needs, implement service and design service

In NSW Health, commissioning involves:

  • analysing service needs and identifying desired outcomes
  • designing evidence-based service models
  • implementing the selected service model
  • reviewing and evaluating outcomes for continuous improvement.

Elements of the commissioning cycle can be applied flexibly in a way that adds value; the full commissioning cycle may not be needed in every case.

When to use Commissioning for Better Value

Commissioning can be applied to assess the need for new services or review existing services and major contracts within NSW Health. It is a tool that complements processes such as service planning and business case development.

Elements of commissioning are already being applied to develop and review some services in NSW Health.

CBV will support commissioning to be applied more broadly by providing guidance, resources and capability development for CBV projects across NSW Health.

The CBV program is currently focussing on implementing commissioning for clinical support and non clinical services. Some areas where commissioning is currently being applied include pathology specimen analysis and medical imaging services.


Director, Strategic Policy Unit,
Strategic Reform and Planning Branch, NSW Ministry of Health

More information and related links

Contact page owner: Strategic Reform and Planning