Barnsley leads way in a radical power shift as 100s of high-need service users gain control of their own integrated health and social care budgets
11 March 2015

NHS England and the Local Government Association have named Barnsley as one of the first eight sites that will, for the first time, blend comprehensive health and social care funding for individuals and allow them to take control of how it is used.

The first wave of the Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) programme will go live on 1 April 2015, providing some 10,000 people across the country with complex needs with greater power to decide how their own combined health and social care budget is spent.

Nationally, four groups of high need individuals – older people with long term conditions, children with disabilities and their families, people with learning disabilities, and people living with serious mental illness – will be able to take control of their budget to deliver an agreed care plan. As part of the programme, local voluntary organisations will also help patients with personal care planning and advocacy.

In Barnsley, people who use services and their carers, along with health and social care partners will be working together to develop the model to support people with complex diabetes. This new approach will help people who have lots of contact with services, such as hospitals for example, or have difficulty managing their diabetes because of other long term health conditions. People will be supported to take more control of their own health and wellbeing needs, using support plans tailored to them and funding to reflect what works for the individual in managing their own health conditions.

Dr Nick Balac, local GP and Chair of Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are really proud that our plans for Barnsley have been recognised nationally. This radical initiative builds on work we are already doing and puts much more choice and control in the hands of individuals and for the first time they can decide on the blend of support they themselves want. Integrated personal commissioning gives people the chance to make a reality of person-level health and social care integration, as the NHS moves beyond just asking “what’s the matter with you?” to “what matters to you?”.

Councillor Margaret Bruff, Cabinet spokesperson for People (Safeguarding), said: “Barnsley Council has made great strides in introducing personal budgets for people, who through personalised care and support are able to live independently.

“People are best placed to decide what support they need to enable them to live full and independent lives. Through our work with the integrated personal care programme, we will be able to join up health and social care budgets, offer support to help people navigate the system and have their voice heard and give the best information and advice.”

Sharon Brown, CEO of DIAL Barnsley, a user-led organisation delivering peer-led services across the borough said: " We are really pleased to be working with our statutory partners to develop an integrated approach that is both person-centred and supports the principles of real co-production."

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