Putting patients in control of their care

The Workstream Lead at Hartlepool & Stockton on Tees CCG, one of nine sites putting the Integrated Personal Commissioning Emerging Framework into action, shares how the programme is beginning to transform services for older people with complex health needs:

As an area that had been part of the original pilot, commissioners in Teesside were already convinced how effective Personal Health Budgets could be.

They believed in how they could support people to manage long term health conditions, so, for them, committing to the Integrated Personal Commissioning programme was a natural development.

When looking at the needs of people with complex needs, it clearly makes sense to work together across health, social care and the voluntary and community sectors, so IPC offered a real opportunity to commit to making integration real – both at an organisational level, but importantly so that the experience for people was simpler and supported them to take a more active role in managing their health.

Read the full blog on our Personal Health Budget pages.

Andrew Carter

Andrew Carter is the Stockton-on-Tees Integrated Personal Commissioning Communications Workstream Lead.

He is an experienced public sector governance and communications officer who has worked in local government, central government and the NHS.

Andrew has worked in the NHS for five years in varying roles including for acute providers, primary care trusts and currently for Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


  1. Kassander says:

    That you have the audacity to write that this marketization and pre-privatization of the NHS is :
    ” … so that the experience for people was simpler and supported them to take a more active role in managing their health.”
    is breathtaking.
    It’s a blatant attempt to define a cash limit to someone’s wellbeing expectation from NHS. That limit can then be used to cut back on what is provided as tightened Government faux austerity measures eat even further into NHS expenditure.
    The coup de grace comes on privatization of NHS when tariffs will be set for all treatments, and patient self financing top-ups will apply to any ”excess” necessary for medical and care package completion.

    • NHS England says:

      Hi Kassander

      Thank you for you comment

      Personal health budgets are an option for some disabled people or those managing complex long term conditions, and the budget needs to cover the costs of an individual’s assessed health needs. The NHS Constitution is clear that NHS services are free at the point of delivery, and personal health budgets do not change this fundamental principle. People would not be expected to ‘top up’ their budget to meet assessed care needs, and budgets can’t be used for all NHS services. For example, you can not use a PHB to pay for primary care, emergency services, or prescription charges. Full details can be found in the Direct Payments for Healthcare Guidance.

      Nobody would be denied access to necessary treatment as a result of having a personal health budget.

      Many thanks
      NHS England

      • Kassander says:

        ”The coup de grace comes on privatization of NHS when tariffs will be set for all treatments, and patient self financing top-ups will apply to any ”excess” necessary for medical and care package completion.”
        Thank you for publishing my hard hitting 1st comments !

  2. Teena Lucas says:

    my mum is in the late stages of Atlzheimers/ Dementia – she’s 80yrs old,and with very complex needs- she is still living in her own home – this has been achieved mainly due to the fact that my brother lives with her and has been prepared to care for her – in recent years we have had 2 different care companies providing various care packages – this has allowed my brother to go to work and some social life.I don’t live very locally, I’m married, I have children and work part-time- I also have regularly visited and shared some of the care. We have been paying privately for the care companies because my mum had been left with some savings when my dad died.We have basically run out of money now, having spent thousands of pounds on the care packages – it has been successful though and my mum is being well cared for and is very settled and happy.Obviously we are keen to continue with a successful care regime but can’t do that without money!Recently we applied, through our social worker, for continous care funding fron the NHS – very very difficult and upsetting experience this week – we had our meeting with NHS representatives to complete the form – I don’t properly know who they were or what their jobs are as they didn’t fully explain, but what I do know is that neither of them had visited before, neither knew my mum, and both demonstrated a lack of understanding for her condition – over a period of 2 hours we attempted to work through a collection of ‘domains’ and to effectively choose the appropriate description of her condition from a ‘list’ of given answers to questions – probably easy to fit people into the appropriate box if they have a physical illness that follows a set pattern with recognisable symtoms and generally accepted treatment plans /needs – virtually impossible to fit someone like my mum into some of the boxes – they were simply just not appropriate and trying to fit her into the NHS list of answers impossible – the outcome of this is that the NHS professionals were unable to give a true representation of my mum just filling out your form – for most of the ‘domains’ they wanted to ‘mark’ my mum down as low or moderate needs. We don’t know the outcome of our application at this moment in time – the NHS representatives were unable to give us a timescale for decision – simply saying it could take several weeks – obviously we have to continue providing care in the meanwhile.It’s very difficult to make future plans now as we simply don’t know what we are planning for!!!The whole thing ridiculous and very very stressful – I was so upset/confused after our meeting that I was unable to eat my evening meal and didn’t sleep that night – I had assumed that the NHS were there to help / offer support as would be the case if my mum was in hospital or receiving treatment for cancer etc – I couldn’t have been more wrong – the meeting felt like a battle – one where I was armed with a bowl of fruit but the opposition armed with nucleor weapons! The NHS will never be able to allow people in our position to ‘manage’their care / plan integrated personal care programmes etc – to do this will require massive changes in the view towards altzhemers/ dementia in absolutely everthing you do! honestly can you really achieve that – my experience this week tells me that you have a massive mountain to climb!