‘Integrated Personal Commissioning’ initiative for those with complex needs focuses on the voluntary sector

Posted on September 5th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on ‘Integrated Personal Commissioning’ initiative for those with complex needs focuses on the voluntary sector

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NHS England, the Local Government Association, Think Local Act Personal and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services have announced a new voluntary approach to joining up health and social care for people with complex needs.

The announcement about the introduction of ‘Integrated Personal Commissioning’ (IPC) focused strongly on the involvement of the voluntary sector and made no specific reference to other private providers of specialist care but, on enquiry, Caring Times was given assurances that for-profit providers can be involved. It appears, however, that they would have to partner in some way with a voluntary organisation.

“This proposal makes a triple offer to service users, local commissioners and the voluntary sector to bring health and social care spend together at the level of the individual,” said the announcement from NHS England.

“Local authorities and NHS commissioners, and providers will be offered dedicated technical support, coupled with regulatory and financial flexibilities to enable integration. The voluntary sector will be a key partner in designing effective approaches, supporting individuals and driving cultural change. NHS England, LGA, TLAP and ADASS have published a joint prospectus inviting expressions of interest from the voluntary sector, providers and commissioners in the IPC programme.”

The prospectus is supported by a guide to bring people up-to-date on the latest developments in making care more personalised and integrated. There is a short time-frame in which to submit bids. The closing date for IPC applications is 7th November 2014 and they must be made jointly by one or more clinical commissioning group and local authorities, with at least one voluntary sector partner

NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens said that from next year Integrated Personal Commissioning meant fully combined health and social care funding would be available to, and under the direct control of, people using services.

ADASS president David Pearson said his organisation very much valued the opportunity to contribute to the IPC programme which would see personal budgets and direct payments – both of which had been an integral part of the social care offer in recent times – take a “massive, decisive and encouraging step forward’.

“Intertwining the benefits of personal budgets, integrated services and personalised approaches to users of the health and care services in these ways can do nothing but good for all the citizens we serve,” said Mr Pearson.

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