Evaluating the process of decommissioning is least developed in practice and is often overlooked. However, it is also one of the most important steps, as reviewing the efficacy of decommissioning and identifying any lessons to be learnt will directly influence the success of any future decommissioning exercise. We found little evidence of commissioners assessing the effectiveness of the decommissioning process or reviewing the impact of decommissioning on users and the community further down the line.
While timescales to actually carry out decommissioning may be tight, subsequently reviewing its impact does not impact on timescales and can be more easily planned for a later date.
One positive example was where the commissioner felt they were held to account, firstly, by the implementation group (which included a service user) that oversaw the transition plan and, secondly, by a scrutiny panel tasked with reviewing the situation again in a year’s time.