Stevens’ Integrated Personal Commissioning Programme is milestone for NHS care

The Integrated Personal Commissioning Programme, recently launched by Simon Stevens, is a milestone for personalised care for people suffering with long term conditions.

People who are dependent on NHS services will now have the right to a personalised health budget, following announcement made by Stevens yesterday. 

The decision will enable approximately 60,000 adults eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare, and children who receive continuing care, the option of directing how their health budget is best used to meet their own personal health outcomes.

NHS England has recognised that around three million people could have three or more long term conditions by 2018. So it is vital to allow people to have more control and flexibility over their care, which can be achieved by offering personal health budgets.

Personal health budgets will enable the NHS to support people to live well and manage their chronic, often multiple, long term conditions, rather than offering a quick fix to, often, complicated health problems. Money will be bettered managed by providers, to give patients the most efficient care, working closely with them to explore the best way to meet their health outcomes.

Between 2009-2012, personal health budgets were piloted at sites across England and findings demonstrated positive outcomes for both patients and the NHS. Budgets were well received, with people appreciating more control and flexibility in how their care was delivered – experiencing a better quality of life and an overall reduction in hospital costs.

The pilot also demonstrated that people with high needs, and therefore a larger budget, were more likely to benefit from the flexibility of managing their care more proactively.

NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group has already administered almost 300 personal health budgets to adults for NHS Continuing Healthcare and children eligible for continuing care, and has started to look at how other patient groups may be able to benefit from this more flexible approach.