Labour Party publishes vision of 'whole person care'

The Labour Party’s independent commission on whole person care, led by Sir John Oldham, former clinical lead at the Department of Health, has set out a wide ranging list of recommendations to encourage joined up care across health and social care, in order to mitigate the effects of an aging population on the health service. Echoing many of the Labour Party’s announcements over the past year or so, the commission called for:

  • The introduction of a number of measures to remove barriers to integration between health and social care, including the current competition rules for health services;
  • An expanded scope of primary care services;
  • More specialised care in the community;
  • Jointly agreed budgets for the most complex conditions between CCGs and Health and Wellbeing Boards, with CCGs retaining power to commission services;
  • Expanded patient rights in terms of access to their own personal data;
  • NHS England renamed ‘Care England’ and reformed to encompass a regulatory and system shaping role in both health and social care;
  • Measures to be introduced to increase preventative care, in order to increase the amount of people (especially the elderly) who can be treated outside of the hospital setting; and
  • Increased specialist care outside of the hospital setting, and more care delivered in the community.

The Commission was asked to report to the Labour Party’s policy review a year ago, and leader Ed Miliband has commented on the publication of the report stating that “Our policy review is looking at how we can implement Sir John’s proposals to offer better advice to help patients manage their condition, help them link up with others with similar conditions, and do more to support carers.”