Integrated personal commissioning

Speaking at the annual conference of the Local Government Association on 9 July 2014, Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, announced that high-need individuals would be offered the chance to control their own health and social care funding.

Four groups of high-need individuals were to be included in the first wave of the integrated personal commissioning (IPC) programme, including:

  • people with long term conditions 
  • children with complex needs
  • people with learning disabilities
  • people with severe and enduring mental health problems.

In parallel, voluntary sector organisations would be commissioned locally to support personal care planning, advocacy and service 'brokerage' for individual participants of the programme.

First wave

In March 2015 it was announced that the first wave of the integrated personal commissioning (IPC) programme would go live on 1 April. This first wave was intended to support 10,000 people with complex needs to have greater power to decide how their own combined health and social care budget should be spent. The programme would be jointly led by NHS England and the Local Government Association.

The eight demonstrator sites announced were:

  • Barnsley
  • Cheshire West and Cheshire
  • Luton
  • Stockton on Tees
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Hampshire
  • Portsmouth
  • South West Consortium.

Lincolnshire was later included as part of the first wave of demonstrator sites.


As an example, the demonstrator site in the Portsmouth area would support those older people with multiple long term conditions who were most at risk of avoidable hospital admissions.

The use of pooled health and social care budgets, and the increased use of personal health budgets, was intended to help create more joined-up care for older people. Through the programme:

  • service users would be offered power and improved support to shape care that is meaningful for them
  • local authorities, NHS commissioners and providers would be offered dedicated technical support and financial flexibilities to address systemic barriers to change
  • the voluntary sector would be a key partner in designing effective approaches, supporting individuals and driving cultural change.

NHS England.
NHS England and local councils announce radical power shift as first 10,000 high-need services users gain control of their own integrated health and social care budgets.
NHS England; 9 March 2015.

NHS England.
Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC).
NHS England; nd.

NHS England.
NHS England Chief offers local government leaders radical new health and social care integration option.
NHS England; 9 July 2014.