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Integrated personal commissioning pilots revealed

IPC brings an end to ‘like-it-or-lump-it’ health and social care, says NHS chief

Louise Prime

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

NHS England and the Local Government Association have revealed the eight pilot sites shortlisted for the first wave of the Integrated Personal Commissioning programme, which goes live on 1 April. NHS England said this would give about 10,000 people with complex needs greater power to decide how their own combined health and social care budget is spent.

The four groups of people with high levels of need who are included in the programme are older people with long-term conditions, children with disabilities and their families, people with learning disabilities, and those living with serious mental illness. Local voluntary organisations will help those affected, with their personal care planning and through advocacy.

NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens said: “Our aim in this radical initiative is to end fragmented like-it-or-lump-it health and social care, by giving high-need individuals the power for the first time to decide on the blend of support they themselves want. Integrated Personal Commissioning gives families the chance to make a reality of person-level health and social care integration, as the NHS moves beyond just asking “what’s the matter with you?” to “what matters to you?”.”

The successful ‘demonstrator sites’ named by NHS England yesterday are:

  • Barnsley: will use the IPC model to support people with complex diabetes.
  • Cheshire West and Cheshire: will focus on people with learning disabilities – including those with mental health problems or autism, and particularly those with high support needs, who are in institutional settings, and/or children and young people with complex needs – to support them to live more independently in the community.
  • Luton: will offer people with dementia more choices about their care to enable them to stay independent for longer, through better aligning local support and treatment services to individuals’ needs.
  • Stockton on Tees: will work with older people with long-term conditions, promoting effective self-management.
  • Tower Hamlets: will expand the offer of personal health budgets to provide a seamless service to people with long-term conditions, particularly adults and children with more complex health needs including significant mental health problems; and people eligible for jointly funded continuing healthcare.
  • Hampshire: will work with children and young people in transition (14-25 years old) with complex needs such as learning disability, mental health problems and physical conditions, as well as adults with a learning disability, including those in, or at risk of entering, an institutional setting.
  • Portsmouth: will support older people with multiple long-term conditions who are most at risk of avoidable hospital admissions, breaking down organisational barriers between health and social care and providing more joined-up personalised care.
  • South West Consortium: will improve care for people with a range of multiple long-term conditions; including mental health issues; learning disabilities and children with complex needs, focusing on culture change and crisis prevention.

Luke O’Shea, NHS England’s head of patient participation, said the IPC programme is attempting to bridge the ‘invisible divide’ between services and the people they were created to serve and in the process should reduce costs as well as improving care. He said: “The really radical part [of IPC], the controversial part, the uncomfortable part, is to hand real power over to people and, if they choose to take it, to allow them spend their own budgets according to their needs and priorities ...

“Growing evidence shows that a failure to involve people in their care and treatment leads to far poorer outcomes and higher cost ... But for me this is about much more than arguments about service quality and value for money. It’s also about a basic right to self-determination.”

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