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Developing market intelligence

Briefing paper | October 2010

This briefing paper is one in a series developed by IPC for the National Market Development Forum. It looks at how local authorities can gain the better market intelligence they need to effect a successful transition from direct purchasers and providers of care to a broader role as market facilitators. It establishes the knowledge of the market that local authorities, service providers and service users need in order to make informed decisions, and sets out ways for local authorities to ensure all stakeholders have ready access to that information.

The first part of the paper describes the sort of information that must be available to local authorities, including:

  • Available provision, its location and price
  • The perceived quality of that provision
  • Key factors influencing ongoing viability of services
  • Key drivers of demand, and means of controlling it

To providers, including:

  • Reliable projection of future demand
  • Future balance of market, in terms of payment route
  • Local authority views on price and reasonable profit margin
  • Planning authority views on new facilities

And to service users, including:

  • Availability of services, price and quality, as reviewed by other users
  • Opportunities for involvement in ensuring future availability and suitability of services

The second half of the paper explains how to bring this intelligence together as a market position statement, combining data from the joint strategic needs assessment, commissioning strategies and customer surveys to create a focused, market-facing product. It concludes with a model outline of an MPS.