Local decision-making

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Local decision-making - Priority setting - Review exercise

How does your PCT priority set?

Download a PDF version of this review exercise

Once you have listened to our presentations which outline the fundamentals of priority setting for NHS commissioning organisations, run through this checklist and answer the questions to see how much you understand about how your PCT(s) sets priorities.

This exercise will help those working in a PCT to better understand their current processes and potentially identify some areas requiring development/improvement. However it will also be useful for clinicians and providers to see how much they understand of the local context in which their services are commissioned.

Confidentiality: Whilst undertaking this exercise, please ensure patient confidentiality is maintained, as appropriate.

How does your PCT priority set?


  1. What are your PCT’s top 5-10 priorities outlined in the strategic plan?
  2. When is the strategic plan reviewed?
  3. What are the priorities identified to demonstrate health gain through World Class Commissioning (WCC) assurance?
  4. How does the PCT engage with the public in its strategic planning process?
  5. What are the values and principles (sometimes combined in an ethical framework) that underpin the PCTs approach to decision making?
  6. How does the annual commissioning round process work in your PCT?
    1. What are the timescales for business case submissions?
    2. How are business cases requested?
    3. How do your local decision-making groups support the priority setting process?
  7. How does your PCT prioritise service developments?
    1. How does your PCT screen business cases to identify those which should go forward for prioritisation?
    2. What relative criteria does your PCT use to help inform priority setting decisions?
  8. If a service development is requested in-year how does your PCT manage this request?
  9. Are the principles and processes used for prioritisation understood by:
    1. Everyone in your PCT?
    2. All relevant partners (including all providers and those working with you on joint commissioning arrangements)?