01 November 2006 | Rebecca Ellinor
A guide to help local authority buyers purchase services for vulnerable people has been published this week.
Produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), A guide to procuring care and support services is the result of 18 months' work by Leeds and Plymouth City Councils. They applied procurement best practice to the purchase of housing and other support services.
The guide has been issued just days after the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), which reviews and reports on social care services in England, published Time to care?, a report criticising social care purchasers and procurement departments for not fully understanding the complexity of the services they buy (Web news, 25 October).
Commenting on the DCLG guide, OGC chief John Oughton said the public sector was entering a phase where ignoring best practice was "not an option".
He said: "It's the responsibility of us all to find ways to make our schools, hospitals and police forces better - therefore best practice should be spread. It's our job at the OGC to find it, celebrate it and promote it; it's the job of individual departments and authorities to implement it."