'Turning the framework into action will of course depend on the response of all the individuals commissioning and providing care and support and also, crucially, users and carers themselves.'

The Commissioning framework for health and well-being, launched in March, is a groundbreaking consultative document.

It sets out new ways of working to deliver better health outcomes, provide people with more choice, and secure value for money.

The consultation is being managed by the Care Services Improvement Partnership, and you can download the framework at our dedicated website. There you can take part in the consultation, have access to a.range of resources linked to this work and find details of consultation events.

Turning the framework into action will of course depend on the response of all the individuals commissioning and providing care and support and also, crucially, users and carers themselves. It is therefore essential that we win hearts and minds. An elegant policy is no use unless there is a commitment for action and a passion by local leaders to make things change.

The move towards personalised services

The framework is a child of its time. At its root is Our health, our care, our say, which made a clear public commitment to greater public and user voice, control and choice, and the personalisation of services to meet users' needs, lifestyles and aspirations.

It is also built on the innovative work on commissioning which followed Every child matters, and the vision for commissioning published by the Department of Health in July 2006, Health reform in England: update.

As important has been the drive for health improvement and proactive prevention of ill health at the core of Choosing health. Lastly, we were aware of the need to address genuine concerns from the third sector about making it easier for them to participate and create a level playing field.

The framework's focus on improving health and well-being, prevention, the promotion of equality, and the personalisation of services are strongly echoed in the government's policy review, published this week

Developing the framework has required a great deal of genuine cross-government partnership working, and I was therefore delighted that it was signed off by both health secretary Patricia Hewitt, and the secretary of state for communities Ruth Kelly.

The framework is very much a 'live' document. In particular, we want our respondents to tell us:

  • have we missed anything out?
  • will the proposals work?
  • ideas on how we can achieve the best fit between health and social care
  • how to make this framework a reality.

If you can help us answer any or all of these questions please take part in the consultation at www.commissioning.csip.org.uk

The consultation period ends 29 May 2007.

Bob Ricketts is director of demand side reform at the Department of Health

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