NHS Unveils ‘Radical’ Integration Plan

NHS England has announced a new programme designed to assist individuals with specific and complicated needs. These individuals have been provisionally split into four groups by NHS England:

  • Children with complex needs
  • People with learning disabilities
  • People with long-term conditions, including frail elderly people at risk of care home admission
  • People with severe and enduring mental health problems

The Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) scheme gives councils and local NHS services the ability to offer these individuals the ability to control a combined health and social care support.

Regarding the IPC, NHS England’s Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, said: “Patients, service users and carers have the biggest interest in getting things right, but they can only do so if we give them real power to shape their own care…people themselves can be the best ‘integrators’ of the health and social care they are offered.

“We need to stop treating people as a collection of health problems or treatments. We need to treat to them as individuals whose needs and preferences should be seen in the round and whose choices shape services, not the other way round.

“That’s the big offer the NHS increasingly has to make to our fellow citizens, to local authorities, and to voluntary organisations. We need a double N in ‘NHS’ – a National Health Service offering more Neighbourhood health support.”

The IPC has received a mixed response from individuals in the healthcare sector. Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association stated that the IPC should not be regarded as a “substitute for proper funding of services.”Alternatively, Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb received the IPC warmly, stating that it offers individuals “more choice and more control over their care.”

An IPC Prospectus is expected to be published in late July, with wider scale deployment of the programme taking place in 2016 and 2017.

NHS England’s official announcement of the IPC can be found HERE.

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