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Patients given spending power to boost their wellbeing
09 March 2015

People in Portsmouth will be among the first to pioneer a new health and social care initiative to give them greater control over their illnesses, and their lives.

The new Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) scheme will allow eligible people with complex needs resulting from their frailty or multiple long term conditions to take charge of spending their own NHS ‘health budget’, alongside existing opportunities to spend their local authority social care budget. It will form a key part of the effort to join up NHS and social care funding, allowing individual patients to personally decide how some of that money can be spent, to have the greatest positive impact on their lives.

Portsmouth is one of eight 'demonstrator sites' nationally where the new IPC initiative will be trialled. The announcement was made by NHS England today (9 March). An initial £150,000 funding boost has been awarded to NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Portsmouth City Council to get the project started.

Local people will be supported in making their decisions by voluntary sector partner Age UK Portsmouth. Staff at the charity will work with people to provide advice and help individuals direct how their budget is used and to be more involved in their own care, and ensure their needs and views are at the centre of care plans agreed with professionals.

The project links closely with the city's Better Care programme to join up health and social care services, which in 2015/16 pools £16 million of funding from adult social care and the NHS because it is joining up health and care funding at an individual level too.

Health and Social Care leaders in Portsmouth have welcomed the announcement. GP Dr Jim Hogan, the Chief Clinical Officer at NHS Portsmouth CCG said:

"Personal budgets covering both health and care are a step forward for people who have complex long term conditions, for example dementia.

"It means that patients and their families can be supported to identify the extra support they need – beyond the basics such as medicines – and then can be helped to get that support.

"A patient, and their carers, will be the biggest expert on their condition, and their needs. By giving them a bigger role in making decisions, we believe that they will see real improvements in their quality of life. In turn, this should help people to avoid suffering the trauma and upset of a health crisis, and a stay in hospital."

Dianne Sherlock Chief Executive Officer at Age UK Portsmouth said:

"Each eligible person will have freedom to decide what their money is spent on - although of course it must support their health and wellbeing. Age UK Portsmouth's role will be to ensure that they feel empowered to take up this opportunity and they get the maximum possible benefit.

“A personal budget puts the individual in the driving seat to tailor services to their own needs and circumstances. It will open up options and mean that if current provision doesn't give people the support they need, they will have the opportunity to take their custom elsewhere to organisations to providing an alternative service."

Rob Watt, Head of Adult Social Care at Portsmouth City Council said:

"People will benefit from the flexibility to tailor how their health and social care support requirements are met.

"Integrating personal care and health budgets is essential to improving individual choice and control. It will drive up quality and give people the opportunity for self-care, so they can maintain as much independence as possible. This more personalised approach will ultimately lead to better outcomes"



Notes to editors

NHS England has announced the Integrated Personal Commissioning demonstrator sites:

The new Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) programme is working to join up health and social care funding for people with complex needs. The IPC programme builds on and brings together work on implementing personal budgets in the NHS and the Better Care Fund

The Portsmouth programme is a joint project between health (NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group and Solent NHS Trust) adult social care (Portsmouth City Council) and Age UK Portsmouth focussed on supporting older people with complex needs to improve their health, well-being and quality of care. 

By focusing on an individual’s needs, including how they can be supported to self-care (for example through carer training). A range of benefits are expected:

  • Better quality of life for people with complex needs and their carers, and greater involvement in their care, because it has been designed around their personal needs and circumstances.
  • Less crises in people’s lives that lead to unplanned hospital and institutional care (for example in a care home).
  • Better integration and quality of care, including better experiences for people and families.

For example a patient may be eligible for £50 budget to support their COPD which would benefit from light exercise, They might choose to spend the budget on local classes or on equipment they can use at home. Age UK Portsmouth could support them to consider the options, find local classes with the right level of activity or try out equipment before they buy.

The Better Care Fund is a national programme designed to better integrate health and social care services, so more people are    supported to stay healthy and live independently, reducing the demand on acute NHS services like hospital emergency departments. Traditionally, health and social care services have been organised, funded, and delivered separately. Better Care in Portsmouth is funded by Portsmouth City Council and NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), who are working together with NHS provider (Solent NHS Trust and Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust) and the voluntary and community sector. A shared local budget of £16.8M has been committed between the organisations in 2015/16, using existing funding in a joined up way.

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