What We Do

Providing Services For The Most Vulnerable In Society

The Commissioning Alliance support Local Authorities to effectively commission services for their most vulnerable residents. We are hosted by Ealing Council and originated from the West London Alliance but now support Local Authorities across the country.

What Drives Us



Enabling people and organisations to achieve more together.


Delivering with openness, transparency and honesty, building trust across markets.



Aspiring beyond our boundaries, bringing the future forward.

Our Aim

Local authorities are operating in a time of immense financial pressure. Since 2010 Children’s Services has experienced a 29% reduction in real-term spend, equivalent to £3bn. This includes a 60% real term reduction in spend on non-statutory (often preventative/early help) services. Meanwhile, total spend on Adult Social Care has fallen by 5.2% over the same period. 

In Children's services, the number of children subject to child protection enquiries has risen by 140% between 2005/6 and 2015/16. The number of Looked After Children (LAC) in England has also increased, with 2017 seeing the biggest annual increase in the number of children in care since 2010. 

This reduction in funding, increase in demand and a lack of sufficiency of supply have contributed to 91% of Children’s services overspending (a total overspend of £872m) in the last year, projected to be £3.1bn by 2025.

In this context it is vital that local authorities are able to use the resources available to them with maximum efficiency, providing the standard of care which best supports outcomes for the most vulnerable while also facilitating financial sustainability. The service has a track record of supporting this efficiency.


For Local Government

We work with local authorities through collective procurements, with a single system and consistent terms and conditions. This unified position gives our local authorities access to fair rates driven by competition. We assure this with a contract management approach which holds providers to account for quality and cost and a commissioning approach which supports market development.


CarePlace, our brokerage platform, gives our members real time information from our Dynamic Purchasing Vehicles (DPV) which supports daily purchasing decisions and negotiations with providers. It helps to ensure the right placement in the right place and at the right time. This data also enables us to be intelligent customers, by supporting evidence based commissioning and effective market management. Data also enables providers to better meet the needs of local authorities.


In addition, our members and alongside all local government, have budgets to balance. We have therefore made a key focus delivering significant financial cash and cost avoidance savings from our approach to the market, but also from process improvements and the reduced duplication of activity across LAs.

  • Supporting Local Authorities to get the best price through choice and competition to find the right placement at the right time. 

  • Supports market stimulation with all procurement constantly open to new entrants and facilitate block contracting. 

  • Clear and consistent discounts and T&Cs, monitored centrally.

  • Quality Assurance delivered through a central contract management team.

  • Collaboration between authorities to maximise consistency and scale to get the best from our markets.

  • Ensures compliance with all relevant regulations reducing the risk of legal challenge.

  • Streamlines the way in which we buy and contract placements through market leading technology CarePlace 

  • Supports Local Authorities to become intelligent customers, providing clarity about need and gaps in the market.


Please get in touch and we can discuss what we can do to support your local authority’s needs; either via the commissioningalliance@ealing.gov.uk or get in touch with any of our team

For Providers

Our mission is to ‘fix’ the broken market of education and social care procurement but we can only achieve this by working alongside both those who provide and procure social care services. We recognise the enormous contribution that is made by private, voluntary and charitable organisations and are committed to working collaboratively with you. It is only be working in genuine partnership that we can address the underlying issues in the market and ensure that the needs of our most vulnerable are being effectively met


Our procurements are constantly open for new applicants. Benefits of membership include:

  • Quick and easy to get onto the DPV. Once on the DPV, co-produced KPIs are streamlined and a central contract management function avoids providers having to resource multiple meetings with LAs.

  • Access to growing numbers of local authorities, and the prospect of block contracts.

  • CarePlace ensures only appropriate referrals are sent to providers. 

  • Access to market intelligence to inform future investment decisions.

  • A trusted central team can act as detached arbitrators as required. 

  • Commissioning Team support providers with their market development, ensuring their services meet the needs of our members. 

  • CarePlace ensures all providers can access referrals equally and also have clarity about placement decisions.

We are currently accepting applications from Independent Fostering Agencies; Residential Children’s Homes; SEN Schools, and Semi-Independent providers. Please find all opportunities on our procurement portal