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The table outlines what good practice should look like in some of the key areas relating to carrying out decommissioning. It then identifies the risks of not following this good practice and looks at how these risks might be mitigated or what actions commissioners can take when the timeframe is very tight and good practice is difficult to achieve.

Good practice Risks of not following good practice Mitigating these risks
Give as much formal notice as possible about the decision to decommission. Providers are unable to plan successfully for the change; significant challenges and barriers are encountered (e.g. loss of skilled staff); risk of formal complaints and/or legal challenges
  • Give at least three months formal notice to a provider who is going to be decommissioned
Getting technical advice early on in the process Commissioners may face unexpected obstacles which they cannot quickly resolve, leading to delays
  • Get advice from internal experts first to identify whether you might need to get formal technical help
  • Identify the technical support that providers might need such as support regarding Transfer of Undertakings (TUPE) and suggest how they could get the advice.
An implementation or steering group is established The decommissioning plan is poorly followed through leading to increased risk of failure or delays
  • Identify at least a couple of other colleagues to act as a sounding board or virtual peer review group that can help check outcomes against objectives
Some sources of support for providers are put in place – for example, a Q and A, a small transition grant, the local infrastructure body Providers are left isolated and anxious and may want to challenge the process or decision.
  • Contact the local Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) early on and share with them the users and providers that will be affected and offer support
  • Signpost providers to further sources of support and information
Access to documentation and decision makers where appropriate Stakeholders feel consultation is tokenistic and not evidence based.Reputational damage
  • Share some version of the project plan or an outline of the process and timescales with milestones with stakeholders
Clear processes for supporting users during the process Discontinuity of support for users potentially leading to risks to outcomesReputational risks
  • Risks to outcomes may be significant or high risk including risks to safeguarding or safety of users