Developing a Plan to Evaluate the Integrated Personal Commissioning Programme

Senior woman and caregiver


Announced by Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, in October 2014, the Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) Programme is a new programme that joins up health and social care funding for individuals with complex needs and gives them greater control over how their combined health and social care budget is used. It is an important part of a range of initiatives exploring how best to provide more integrated social and health care and in particular for those of us with complex and chronic conditions. Nine demonstrator sites were selected for the first wave of roll-out.

The goals of the IPC programme are: to improve the quality of life of people with complex needs and their carers and enable them and their families to achieve important goals through greater involvement in their care, and being able to design support around their needs and circumstances; to prevent crises in people’s lives that lead to unplanned hospital and institutional care by keeping them well and supporting self-management; and to improve integration and quality of care, including better user and family experience of care.

In his announcement, Simon Stevens committed to evaluate the programme in order to share learning and identify whether and how implementing the IPC programme works to achieve its goals.


RAND Europe was commissioned by NHS England to work with the nine demonstrator sites to:

  • Develop a logic model setting out the core components of the IPC programme;
  • Identify existing data sources and additional data requirements for evaluation purposes;
  • Provide advice to local sites on how they will collect the required data;
  • Understand the core risks and challenges to a future evaluation of the IPC programme.

This work supported NHS England in defining the plans for a future evaluation of the IPC programme. It also reflects a growing interest at RAND Europe in bringing in evaluation skills and insights earlier in the design and implementation stages of complex interventions.


Within IPC there were three core streams of activity leading to desired outcomes. These three streams are around empowered individuals, sustainable commissioning and a vibrant market of providers. The main impact agreed across sites was the improved quality of life for patients and their carers.

There were differences in how well prepared each site was for an evaluation. Each demonstrator site was in a position to draw upon and adapt the generic theory of change model and therefore had a model that could be evaluated. However, each site recognised that they were unlikely to get it right the first time and that they would want to adapt and improve their activities.


  • An ongoing evaluation could help produce site-level data to support local decision makers. In addition, a scheme-wide evaluation could draw together the lessons from the first cohort to support future decision making nationally.
  • The methodological approaches and issues identified in this report should feed into the design of a future evaluation of the demonstrator sites as well as a national evaluation.
  • A successful national evaluation of the programme will need to capture elements across all three core strands of the programme, and elements across all levels, to be able to understand the causal process towards changes in impacts of the programme.


Project Team

Tom Ling
Catherine Saunders
Megan Sim
Eleanor Winpenny