Has a defining moment in how we deliver health care been reached this week? As Community Care went to press, the Commissioning Framework for Health and Wellbeing was launched.
OK, it doesn’t sound that exciting – but this document sets out how strategic commissioning can implement the principles of Our Health, Our Care, Our Say how we can take a more preventive approach to health care.
GPs being enabled to prescribe air-conditioning units or anger management classes grabbed the initial headlines. While using NHS funds more flexibly is going to be important in redeploying resources, the scope of this framework is much wider – pushing for better planning, growth in personalised services, and improvements in quality and partnership working.
It offers sensible advice on how commissioners can better work together, but fails to specify the more detailed mechanisms by which primary care trusts, practice-based and council commissioners can deliver co-ordinated and consistent services closer to home. It also ignores the NHS funding crisis.
We will be analysing this 100-page document in more detail in the weeks ahead and submitting our findings to the consultation. You should too.