Update on the work of the Independent Commission on Whole Person care

Labour Party

The Independent Commission on Whole Person Care was launched in April 2013 by Ed Miliband, Andy Burnham and Liz Kendall MPs to help inform Labour’s Health and Care Policy Review. Sir John Oldham CBE, one of the country’s leading experts on integrated care, was asked to chair the Commission and appointed a group of experts to work with him to produce effective proposals on how Labour’s vision of whole person care can be achieved in practice. The Commission will draw from the findings of the listening exercise shadow health team carried out in spring and summer of this year, the work of the Health Policy Commission and opinions of party members submitted via the ‘Your Britain’ website, build on them and make their recommendations to the Labour Party in mid-2014.


  • The Commission sent a call for evidence to over 2,000 stakeholders, and received over 300 submissions, which are currently being analysed.
  • Members of the Commission Dr. Richard Smith and Dr Angela Coulter carried out an extensive literature review, and considered national and international case studies.
  • This is being supplemented by a series of meetings with key stakeholders from all sectors and visitsto places cited as examples of working towards co-ordinated care.

Work is currently progressing in 5 working groups, each considering a particular aspect of integration:

Information (led by Jeremy Hughes) – this group will be making recommendations on how information and data can be better used to drive a more holistic, integrated approach across the system. This will include, for example, considerations relating to data protection legislation, information management, and both user/carer and professional access to information.

Prevention (led by Prof. Ian Philp) – this group is focusing on preventative aspects of whole-person care in promoting higher levels of health and well-being across the population, and key areas for intervention.

Finance (led by Sir John Oldham and Peter Hay) – this group is focusing on a number of areas – including regulation, commissioning and financial flows – to explore how incentives can be aligned across the existing structures to support the delivery whole person care.

Workforce development (led by Jay Stickland and Hilary Chapman) – this group is examining how changes to staff training, multidisciplinary working, and leadership across the health and social care workforce could help deliver coordinated, holistic, whole person care.

Provider development (led by Dr Donal Hynes and Paul Corrigan)- this group will be exploring how service provision across the system of care can be better oriented towards meeting the complex needs of the whole person – for example, through closer integration across organisational boundaries and between care settings – and the required incentives, mechanisms, and potential models of provision required to do so.

Next steps

  • By the end of the year each working group will produce a position paper on their area.
  • These position papers will then be thoroughly considered by the rest of the Commission, with initial report and recommendations being published early next year.
  • Whole-person Care Innovation Councils, announced by Andy Burnham in July, will work together sharing ideas, best practice and obstacles to integration, trying to identify innovative solutions in working towards whole-person care, and will feed their experiences into the work of the Commission. Plymouth, Derbyshire, North East Lincolnshire, Lancashire, Islington and Gateshead are confirmed to be taking part, other councils keen to participate are expected to be announced shortly.

Members of the Commission:

Sir John Oldham (CHAIR) – Department of Health’s former national clinical lead for quality, innovation, productivity and prevention (QIPP) programme and member of the National Quality Board

Sally Brearley        Chair of the Nursing and Care Quality Forum, Lay member of the National Quality Board, Lay Member of Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group

Hilary Chapman    Chief Nurse and Chief Operating Officer at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Angela Coulter Director of Global Initiatives at the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, Boston, Senior Research Scientist at the Department of Public Health, University of Oxford

Marion Dinwoodie Chief Executive of the Kent Community Health NHS Trust

Peter Hay               Director of Social Care in Birmingham, former President of ADASS

Jeremy Hughes     Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Society

Dr Donal Hynes      GP, Vice Chair of NHS Alliance, former Medical Director of NHS Somerset

Prof Ian Philp        Professor of Heath Care for Older People, University of Warwick, Former National Clinical Director for Older People

Richard Smith       Chair of Patients Know Best and former Editor of the BMJ

Jay Stickland         Senior Assistant Director for Adult and Older People’s Services, London Borough of Greenwich

Terms of reference of the Commission:

  1. Detail the major challenges for health and social care that necessitate whole person, integrated care.
  2. Provide examples (UK and international) on how best to integrate physical and mental health and social care.
  3. Address how to ensure responsive, accountable services that empower users, their families and local communities including as co-producers of their own health and care.
  4. Outline the development needs of the workforce and service providers necessary to achieve integrated care.
  5. Identify the steps for moving from the current system to one where co-ordinated and fully integrated care is the norm, without major structural change and within existing resources.
  6. Test any recommendations with patients, users and practitioners working in the NHS and social care to ensure they are workable and effective.