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We welcome Integrated Personal Commissioning plans

10 July 2014

Yesterday (9 July 2014) NHS England Chief Simon Stevens set out plans for a new Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) programme at the annual conference of the Local Government Association.

The programme is intended to extend the use of combined health and social care personal budgets.

The four groups of high-need individuals most likely to be included in the first wave from next April 2015 are:

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

In an earlier Guardian interview, on 8 July, Stevens claimed five million patients could each have a personal combined health and social care budget by 2018.

Liz Sayce, Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK says:

“When Simon Stevens announced plans for personal health and social care budgets to become the norm, he was met with a lot of complaints in the media. Their line was that we could not give these ‘vulnerable’ people budgets and that they would spend the money on the wrong things.

We heard all these same arguments against direct payments in the 1990s  - and they were proved wrong. They’ve also been proved wrong in relation to so-called ‘vulnerable’ people. The evaluation of personal health budgets found that people living with mental health problems actually had the highest satisfaction with personal budgets.

It’s time to ditch paternalistic notions of ‘vulnerable’ people and give power to everyone living with disability or long-term health conditions.”

You can find out more on the NHS England and Health Service Journal websites.