New DH guidance highlights ‘huge potential’of telehealth and telecare in long-term conditions management

Nick Goodwin

New Department of Health guidance published on 19 January aims to provide health and social care commissioners with the information and support they need to embed personalisation in their services.

Supporting People with Long Term Conditions - Commissioning Personalised Care Planning provides an overview of the business case for personalisation and what personalised and integrated care planning should look like. Specific guidance is provided to commissioners on how to implement care planning locally, but what is implied is a greater use of joint commissioning and pooled budget arrangements, as well as a focus on joint strategic partnerships between health and social care to help cement the personalisation agenda as a new way of working.

Particular focus is placed on commissioning strategies that support self-care, including the ‘huge potential’ of telehealth and telecare technology to enable people to manage their own conditions and live independently. Specific mention is made of the WSD Programme pilots in developing an understanding of the level of benefit associated with such developments as well as addressing the key barriers to integrated health and social care commissioning.

This new DH guidance follows the publication of the Health Bill on 6 January. The Bill announced the piloting of direct payments to enable patients to have more control over the care they receive, allowing treatment to be truly personalised.

Nick Goodwin is Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund and co-project lead for WSDAN