This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Labour announces proposals for integrated 'whole-person care'

Written by: | Published:

Labour would repeal the Health and Social Care Act if the party regained power, refocusing structures without significant reorganisation, in a bid to develop an integrated system of 'whole person care'.

In a speech outlining his party's priorities for health at an event hosted by independent charity the King's Fund, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham called for 'a service that starts with what people want - to stay comfortable at home - and is built around them.'

To do this, he said Health and Wellbeing Boards would be handed greater power, with clinical commissioning groups acting in an advisory capacity, to ensure there was one budget and one service co-ordinating physical, mental and social care.

He said: 'Our fragile NHS has no capacity for further top-down reorganisation. Any changes must be delivered through the organisations and structures we inherit in 2015. I will simply re-focus the organisations I inherit to deliver this vision of whole-person care. Health and Wellbeing Boards could come to the fore, with CCGs supporting them with technical advice.'

Mr Burnham talked about breaking the divide between primary and secondary care. He added: 'For older people, the gravitational pull is towards hospital and care home. We need incentives in the right place - keeping people at home and out of hospitals.'

Crystal Oldman, chief executive of the Queen's Nursing Institute, welcomed Labour's proposals. She said: 'Patients don't make a distinction between health and social care and they expect a service that does not separate them either.

'The way Health and Wellbeing Boards and CCGs will be working together from April will be an excellent platform from which to build a single organisation that addresses health and social care needs. Another major reorganisation of the NHS must be avoided, but merging existing structures would be a long awaited step in the right direction.'

The news comes as an opponent of the Health and Social Care Act, Lord Owen, registered a parliamentary bill to reinstate the health secretary's duty to provide health services, in accordance with the founding principles of the NHS. The former Social Democrat leader claimed this would eradicate the 'fragmentation' and 'marketisation' introduced into the NHS by last year's legislation.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.