Commissioning framework for health and well-being: NHS commissioners asked to boost independence

The government has today called on NHS commissioners to invest in social care to promote independence and prevent illness, in its long-awaited commissioning framework for health and well-being.

The framework is designed to enable councils, primary care trusts and GPs, which have devolved responsibility for commissioning services, to deliver the aims of last year’s health and social care white paper, namely empowering individuals, cutting inequalities and shifting services from acute to preventive care.

It says that under existing legislation, PCTs and GPs can commission non-health services such as respite care, housing aids and adaptations and parenting support, and encourages them to do so.

Patricia Hewitt said: “By giving GPs more flexibility in how they use NHS money and investing more in community based programmes, local services will be able to offer people a seamless service of care – whether in a hospital, in their home or in the community.”

The framework also reiterates proposals for councils and PCTs to carry out joint strategic assessments of their populations’ health and social care needs, which will form the basis of commissioning plans.

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