Alliancing in Health and Social Care

Alliance contracting is a collaborative commissioning approach. A mature approach that drives collaboration, innovation and outstanding performance.

We support places to take more collaborative approaches to commissioning.

Commissioning for collaboration means doing things differently. It means a fundamental rethink of how we relate to citizens and service providers. We need to move away from our traditional ways of procuring, contracting and monitoring services as they strip out the humanity and focus too much on outputs, activities and competition.

One such way is alliancing.

Alliancing is a powerful way to work together and realise shared ambitions. It formalises collaboration between partners without the need for new organisational forms and can become the mechanism to drive cultural shift within the sector towards strength based working and co-production where people with lived experience have a full role in service design and delivery.

An alliance is “an agreement between two or more individuals or entities stating that the involved parties will act in a certain way in order to achieve a common goal.” Alliances can take many forms and they all have the above definition in common. Alliancing can be applied to delivery of services, co-design, research and development, innovation and change programmes.

Within an alliance, all parties are working to the same shared vision and outcomes. Success is judged on performance overall and not on the performance of individual parties. There is a strong sense of ‘your problem is my problem, your success is my success’.

“I can do things now and have conversations I couldn’t have before the alliance. It’s just a better way of working” Plymouth Alliance


Our experience

We’ve been working with public services to support them to adopt alliance commissioning for the last 10 years and we’re seeing powerful changes happen. We recognise that alliancing is a journey and whilst some places may feel that they have the foundations in place to go straight to alliancing, for others, they are looking for support to take smaller steps towards collaborative commissioning. We work across the spectrum and always with alliancing in mind – because whether or not they decide an alliance is right for them, the principles and thinking behind it will help guide them towards a commissioning approach that is likely to improve quality of partnership, innovation and outcomes for people.

How we do it

Our full end-to-end support for people who want to develop an alliance approach uses the following four step model:

During these stages we offer bespoke support including:

Contact us if you are interested in our support as a delivery partner on your journey to more collaborative commissioning

Alliancing Health and Care Symposium 2022

We hosted an Alliancing in Health and Social Care Symposium with LH Alliances in Birmingham on 8th November 2022 to reflect and learn from ten years of experience and developing the model for the future.

Download the Symposium programme.

Read more about the Symposium event.

Check out our Commissioning for Collaboration – Alliance Contracting leaflet for an introduction to Alliance Contracting and our 4 step approach to creating successful alliances.