• NHS England begins national rollout of integrated personal commissioning budgets
  • Seven “pioneer” areas of maternity personal health budgets chosen
  • Wheelchair vouchers to be replaced by personal wheelchair budgets

NHS England is to begin rolling out integrated personal commissioning budgets nationwide, with the hope it will become the main model of care for people with complex conditions by 2020.

The first wave of sites to trial IPC frameworks, for integrating health and social care personal budgets, were announced last year. NHS England will now offer the framework to a further 10 sites by autumn 2016.

Wheelchair

wheelchair

The wheelchair voucher scheme will be replaced by personal wheelchair budgets

Clinical commissioning groups wanting to take up the new model will need to outline this in their sustainability and transformation plans. Ten sites will then be chosen once the STPs are finalised in June.

NHS England also revealed this week the seven areas that will pilot new personal health budgets for maternity care (see box, below).

The introduction of personal health budgets to maternity care was a key recommendation of the national review into maternity care.

The seven “pioneer” sites are made up of multiple CCGs and will be able to offer pregnant women notional personal health budgets for antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care.

It has not been made clear whether all pregnant women living in the areas will be offered personal budgets. HSJ understands this will be decided by the participating CCGs.

HSJ has also been told that initial funding for the pioneer sites will be minimal.

Maternity personal health budget ‘pioneers’

Seven areas involving multiple CCGs have been chosen to launch the maternity personal health budgets:

  • North West: Halton, Liverpool, St Helen’s, Knowsley, South Sefton, Southport and Formby, Wirral, Warrington, West Lancashire, West Cheshire, South Cheshire
  • Midlands: Birmingham South Central, Birmingham CrossCity, Solihull
  • Greater Manchester: Salford, Wigan, Bolton
  • South Central: North East Hampshire and Farnham, North Hampshire, West Hampshire, South East Hampshire, Fareham and Gosport, Southampton, Portsmouth, Isle of Wight
  • South London: Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Sutton, Wandsworth
  • East London: Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest
  • Kent: West Kent, High Weald Lewes and Haven, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “We are determined to give people more power and control over their own healthcare rather than just informing people about decisions taken by others on their behalf.”

Baroness Cumberlege, chair of the maternity review, said: “Congratulations to the seven pioneers who have seized the moment to demonstrate the worth of personal maternity care budgets, giving more choice to expectant mothers and their families. By being put in control of where the budget is spent, women will have more power to ensure their decisions for their baby’s birth and care are respected and implemented.”

It was also announced that the wheelchair voucher scheme will be replaced by personal wheelchair budgets.

Ruth Owen, chief executive of disabled children’s charity Whizz Kidz, said: “We’re delighted with the announcement. It’s a significant step forward, and will give young disabled people, and their families, freedom of choice and control over their own wheelchair provision.

“We know that the families we work with want choice and flexibility, making personal health budgets available for young people’s wheelchair services makes this a reality. This will, at long last, open the door to truly personalised, holistic support for young disabled people.”