Commercial Skills for Patient Benefit

We offer affordable,  supported learning, advice and help with practical change for you and your health and social care team.  Helping you improve patient care through better commercial skills, systems of governance and commissioning processes.

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Stories & Case Studies

Delivering evidence based, creative and sustainable commercial skills, we can help you turn government policies and national mandates into projects and activities that successfully address the commercial challenges of care today.

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We are working with:
Clinical Commissioning Groups
Commissioning Support Units
Care Organisations
Not-for-profit Organisations
Community Groups.

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What we do - bridging the gap between policy and practice

Driving up standards and keeping down costs, with fresh vision, savvy commercial know-how and many years’ experience within public health/NHS training and financial management, through our range of proven toolkits and expertise we move quickly, helping you find and shape the right solutions to meet your daily health and social care challenges.

Who are we?

Bringing you a wealth of affordable expert and creative know-how in financial management, the NHS and wider health and social care, our experienced expert team understands your need to get better patient outcomes with the same resources and we’ll show you how …

How do we deliver?

To create, embed and sustain improved patient care for you, we  educate through shared knowledge and work with health and social care teams, together with a large pool of talented people already in the healthcare system.

Our vision, like yours, is that patients receive the care they need and tax payers receive value for money. Our mission is to drive improved services for patients through swift problem solving enabling you and your team to:

  • Implement wise commissioning of health services through the development of smart business planning
  • Be confident in your commercial skills, helping manage budgets and services for greatest patient gain
  • Create and embed sustainable solutions and strategies for your particular needs and available resources

Sustainability and the cost effective use of your resources are always our top priority; building you and your team’s capacity and expertise in good practice, creative problem solving, commercial skills and new ways of working.

Our process


Helping You Make the Transition …

As a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) taking control of your commissioning budget, you’ll know how important it is to ensure you get the most out of your budget, team and current resources.

This is a big challenge facing many CCGs across the country and we’re here to support you, sharing evidence based best practice, finding swift answers and delivering sustainable strategies.

Let’s dig deeper into just how we can help you:


Managing conflicts of interest, risk and governance:

Today’s  new care funding structure needs good management to ensure that services are commissioned and governance is conducted in a transparent and ethical way.

This requires the implementation of robust and highly practical processes for commissioning, procurement and risk management.

If you need guidance and support in this area, talk to us.

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Engaging effectively with GP practices that do not have representatives on CCG boards:

In some cases GP practices do not have CCG board level membership, yet these patient facing, highly experienced care teams have  immense knowledge about what their local communities and patients need.

As a successful CCG it will be of fundamental importance that you create and implement systems that encourage and enable feedback from GP practices, which is collated,  reviewed and used in a timely way to shape your commissioning plans.

If you need guidance and support in this area, talk to us.

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Commissioning Support Units and CCGs – good practice and evidence based commissioning:

With less money available to the NHS, an ageing population and increased expectations around healthcare, commissioning decisions require an increasingly robust evidence base.

More than ever before good data and reliable evidence are needed to support the recommendations that you make as commissioners, which must be accurately collated and coherently presented.  These elements pave the way for good decision making and improved patient benefits.

If you need guidance and support in this area, talk to us.

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Good Data, Good People, Good Outcomes – coming soon

Today, data  influences much of our daily lives.  Policies are shaped by it, decisions made and lives changed.

Leeds Data Thing 2013 was a recent focus for data innovation and an initiative to form strong partnerships between public and private sectors in collaboration with local education providers.  The initiative ran a week of events and challenges, working to help make citizens aware of the data that influences their everyday life.

“Big Data” is coming to the NHS

Helping patients and communities work closer with clinicians and stay as well as they can, we plan to be part of that Big Data change.  Helping forge partnerships of trust between clinicians and patients to enhance and improve a changing  NHS.

Read more about company ethos…


Leverage Diagram

Commercial Skills for Patient Benefit – Our Modules

Developed to help you make better commissioning decisions through improved commercial planning from a stronger evidence base , we have developed a series of tried and tested commercial skills modules to support you.

Using clear commercial principles we can help you improve your buying decisions, which means more value for money and better service provision for your patients.

Our modules are available as led workshops and e-learning resources.  The topics covered include:

  • Market Assessment
    How do our healthcare markets work and how do we best manage these markets to buy better services for patients?
  • Provider Economics
    How do we understand the impact of our commissioning decisions on provider organisations and how should this be considered in our planning?
  • Contract Levers and Incentives
    How do we get the most out of our contracts and negotiation processes with providers?  How do we use our contracts to work amicably and in partnership and avoid ‘stalemates?’
  • and many more …
    Please talk to us about your specific requirements.

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Compassionate Commercial Skills

A project with the IHM in 2013 where compassionate care extends to the commercial realities of the commissioning cycle.

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Stories & Case Studies

Helping and supporting you in the delivery of complex procurement, achieving value for money and sharing good practice and valuable knowledge, we pride ourselves on our track record of great results for our clients.

Consistently helping care professionals address the pressing issues that new policy and government mandates create.  Creatively problem solving, enhancing commercial skills and finding new ways of working, we have a number of successful projects and activities including:


Commercial skills and processes to support World Class Commissioning


Following the World Class Commissioning panel reviews in 2009/10, we looked at the reports from this review across all 14 Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in the Yorkshire and Humber region and compiled a report for the Yorkshire and the Humber Commercial Support Unit.

This included a mapping on the key areas of organisational competence that required development in Yorkshire and the Humber and how these could be addressed through use of existing products and toolkits.

The products and toolkits within the region were used to create a series of commercial skills modules to enable:

1. Participants to apply the products and toolkits to the day job, helping to steer day to day activity in line with World Class Commissioning for patient benefit

2. Participants to start developing their business planning processes within their organisations in line with World Class Commissioning

3. Participants to develop their commercial skills

The tools and templates and training materials that we developed were then modified to be used much more widely by commissioners to build their commercial capability on an on-going basis.


Commercial Skills to Deliver Real Choice


Achieving value and commissioning for patient benefit and choice with less money needs smart thinking and robust management processes.  Within our practical support for commissioners we offer a series of highly successful learning modules, which involve a work-based project to enable immediate practical application. Rolled out to over 300 NHS managers, these modules are well received and have evaluated extremely well.

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'Real Stories, Real Insight'


Developed for Skills for Care and funded by the National End of Life Care Programme: this video was developed as part of a wider research project around the competencies required for of Domiciliary Care Staff working as Key Workers. Video footage was used as an innovative way to observe competencies displayed by carers. This short video was one of the products from this piece of work.

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Clinical Commissioning Group?

Let us help you address some of your most pressing issues around affordable services.

We can provide you with proven and highly successful shared learning and development support to create and embed excellent commissioning systems and skills.

Commissioning Support Organisation?

We’ll support you in addressing your most pressing commercial and customer service issues.

We provide shared learning and development support to not only help your organisation operate effectively in providing commissioning support to CCGs, but also to help you to work effectively as a provider of services in an increasingly competitive market place.


Meet our team – working in partnership

Who we are and the expert colleagues we work with

We work effectively by drawing in expertise from our wide network of specialists to meet the needs of each project or work stream. More information on the team and the experts that we engage in our projects can be found below.

We would like to create a network of people who would like to see commissioning working well. Join this conversation now.

Our distinctive way of working

Bridgesfm operates a 'lean' way of working: in addition to our range of in-house skills and expertise we have a robust network of other experts that we draw on to create bespoke solutions for our customers. We only bring in these distinct specialists at the time required and for the time required, so our customers only pay for what they need and benefit from.

For more information on the skills we draw on, click here.

We are fellows of members of the following organisations:

Lois Bentley

Chief Executive Officer

Lois is our lead on client account management, delivery and the Bridgesfm support systems to make sure everything runs smoothly. Lois has an extensive background and a wide range of expertise in commercial skills in the process of healthcare for patient benefit.

Pam Rennie

Project Director

Pam’s strength is the getting things done. With a background in international development, education and health promotion, she is now focussed on problem solving and turning national mandates into projects and action.

Contact us

Offering you value, data and helping you achieve the right impact… we’re here to help you make the numbers work in health and social care.  For us the bottom line is better care.

We invite you to contact us!

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