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Making key shifts to personal care – Jo Hooper

Following the recent expansion to the Integrated Personal Commissioning programme, Hampshire Operations Manager Jo Hooper talks about the progress made locally to ensure people are getting more choice and flexibility around the type of care they receive.

As a demonstrator site for the Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) Programme, Hampshire is one of a number of areas across the country making great strides in finding solutions to integrating care that really work for individual people.

We are building on learning and progress made from implementing personal budgets in social care, and personal health budgets in the NHS.

Integrated Personal Commissioning is a national initiative that allows people with complex health needs to have much more personal, flexible packages of care, which are built and designed with them and their families at the centre, and including the option of an integrated personal budget that combines funding across health and social care wherever possible.

IPC is about making “five key shifts” in how health and social care systems and professionals deliver care, so that in addition to personal budgets, people also have access to more peer support and local community resources, with greater connections made between statutory services and the voluntary and community sector.

In Hampshire we are working to deliver IPC, locally known as “My Life, My Way”, for disabled children and adults, as well as young people who are in transition from children to adult services. We aim to ensure that over 1,000 people locally have a personal health budget or integrated personal budget by 2018.

We want our young people who are moving on to adulthood to be able to say “Transition, what transition?” and we believe that IPC offers a clear, innovative and comprehensive framework to deliver that ambition.

To build the capacity of the voluntary sector in supporting our families, over the past year we’ve invested money in a local advocacy service that now provides external facilitation for some of our “different conversation” meetings, where personalised care and support planning conversations take place with individuals and families.

They provide a service that is independent from health and social care, and they can ask us difficult questions if need be, to ensure individuals are kept at the centre of all conversations. As a trained learning disability nurse by background, I know how hard it can be to balance being a budget holder, gatekeeper and the person leading the person-centred planning.

I’ve also been fortunate in my role to see directly the positive impact that IPC has had on some of our local families, four of whom joined us at a visit from the programme team at NHS England towards the end of last year. People like Liam Derbyshire and his dad Pete, who through IPC have been supported to have an integrated package of care, focussing not just on Liam’s health needs, but the family’s needs as a whole:

Their view is: “For the first time in seventeen years we have finally got a joined-up solution for Liam and a fully joined up plan.  We now have a clearer understanding of not just his medical care needs but a clearer plan for Liam’s transition from children’s to adult services too”.

Although it might be sobering to hear that joining up care across health, social care and education represents a big step forward, anyone who works in health and social care will recognise the continuing disconnect across these sectors.  Amid what is undoubtedly a difficult time for NHS budgets, and an even harder one for social care, IPC is effectively establishing a ‘new care model’ for people with some of the most complex needs in our society.

Reflecting on our progress so far, it’s safe to say we have a way to go before everyone understands the vision, but what I tell my colleagues is that results can be seen in IPC with just tweaks to the process, which can lead to a much better outcome for people. Simple tools that identify, for example, what makes a ‘good day’ for a person, rather than focussing on their condition or clinical need, can help move the focus to a more strengths-based approach, and shift us away from continuing to be the ‘great rescuers’ that we’ve traditionally been in health and social care.

There are so many competing demands on professionals’ time that prioritising IPC can be a real challenge, and this is why I’m delighted to see that the programme is now expanding to six new areas across the country.

The increase in national coverage will support IPC to gain the recognition and uptake that it warrants during 2017, and ensure that IPC can reach more families, both in Hampshire and across the country.


Image of Jo Hooper, Operations Manager for Hampshire’s Integrated Personal Commissioning ProgrammeJo Hooper is the Operations Manager for Hampshire’s Integrated Personal Commissioning Programme, which is called My Life My Way.

She qualified as a Learning Disability Nurse and has since worked for the NHS and Local Authority, primarily with people who have lived experience of living with a learning disability, but more recently as a Project Manager and then a Team Manager for social workers supporting young people through transition.

In her current role Jo has worked very closely with families to trial the new processes being championed by IPC.

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  1. Chris Reid says:

    When are these so called health professionals going to say that you can’t have integrated care on the cheap. what happens when the personal budget expires? or if the voluntary sector can’t take up the slack. I am afraid people have seen through the weasel worded presentations. sorry but the NHS can not stand a total cut of £42 Billion and survive.