Patients offered more choice on personal care budget

Pic: DIBP images

Pic: DIBP images

Vulnerable people will be offered greater choice on how money is spent for their care as Tower Hamlets was selected as one of eight places in the UK to pilot a new health care programme.

The Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) programme will start on April 1 and aims to provide 10,000 vulnerable people across the nation with greater choice on deciding their own health and social care budgets.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said: “Our aim in this radical initiative is to end fragmented like-it-or-lump-it health and social care, as the NHS moves beyond just asking ‘what’s the matter with you?’ to ‘what matters to you?”

IPC was put together by the Local Government Association (LGA), Think Local Act Personal (TLAP), a national partnership of more than 50 organisations set up to revolutionise social care, and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).

The programme will focus on older people with long-term conditions, children with disabilities, people with learning disabilities and individuals living with mental illness.

Luke O’Shea, NHS England’s Head of Patient Participation, said in a statement: “The really radical part, 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.”

Councillor Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “People are best placed to decide what support they need to enable them to live full and independent lives.”

The IPC will also focus on bringing local voluntary organisations to help patients when deciding the range of options available for their personal care.

Sam Bennett, Director of TLAP, said: “[We] will be supporting the programme by ensuring that with integration, comes personalisation, so that people living in these areas can expect the same focus on their independence, the same regard for their dignity and wishes and the same opportunities to make choices and take control, whether they have a long-term health condition or a social care need, a mental health problem or a learning disability.”

Other areas selected to start the IPC programme were Stockton on Tees, Barnsley, Cheshire West and Chester, Luton, Hampshire and Portsmouth.

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