Cogora was approached by a commissioning support unit (CSU) that wished to understand the potential, and best strategy, for extending its markets outside its current geographical location and clinical commissioning group (CCG) focus.

Our approach

Drawing on our community of over 10,500 highly engaged commissioners, Cogora conducted a two-step market research project.

First, a quantitative survey was distributed to CCGs and local authorities (LAs) identified via the subscription database of Cogora’s ‘The Commissioning Review’ journal.

The survey provided quantitative data from over 100 commissioners on key topics including:

  • The extent to which CCGs rely on in-house staff versus CSUs, independent sector providers, foundation trusts or the community voluntary sector
  • The type of services that CCGs outsource to CSUs
  • Factors that influence CCGs’ choice of provider
  • CCG’s preferred model for outsourcing services

Following detailed analysis of the survey data, Cogora conducted semi-structured telephone interviews with 16 senior management stakeholders from six key CCGs and LAs. This allowed Cogora to probe in-depth on the trends uncovered in the quantitative market research phase.


  • 100 survey respondents
  • 16 senior management interviews

Based on the data, Cogora produced a comprehensive report that described and discussed the challenges facing CSUs wanting to expand their market. These insights were used to produce a set of recommendations for how our client could best expand their business outside their current geographical location and CCG focus.

In a follow-up discussion with the client six months later the client reported how the report had been used internally to underpin their recently developed business strategy.