Peter Thistlethwaite EDITOR people with learning disabilities or the extent and As a term in our vocabulary, ‘planning’ is distinctly types of service already provided… In some areas, unfashionable these days, although it has been one of the for example, the number of people known to main vehicles upon which we have travelled towards learning disability services was only half that which more integrated systems of care. ‘Joint planning’ was would be anticipated on the basis of national pursued vigorously over many years by governments prevalence. trying to encourage collaboration between local agencies, particularly as a means of securing the phasing-out of long-stay hospitals. It was partly supplanted as a term One of the positive observations in their article concerns during the last decade by ‘commissioning’, which the engagement of users in the process, and it is probably properly added the conceptual link between the needs a fair criticism of earlier modes of planning that user identified in plans and the process through which money views were often absent. The way in which this can result was spent to create responsive services. Both terms live on, in spectacular inefficiencies is brought home in St. John’s but even commissioning itself now seems to carry less article about dementia services for Asian people, in which weight in an era of performance management and she contends that ‘service planners need to take a modernisation, which we can see are more direct tools to proactive approach in tackling the underlying issues of secure the will of ministers. diversity and equal opportunities’. The continuing importance of sound planning It seems timely to think about these issues afresh. processes is nevertheless underlined by three articles Integrated care will obviously need its own planning in this Issue of JIC – as are the difficulty and discipline, and it is to be hoped that the work of the complexity of the task. The articles cover learning Dartington team can be scrutinised and adapted in disability, children’s services, and Asian elders with other localities and services, complemented by dementia. It would be fair to say that only in the purposeful user and carer participation (Evans and methodology described by Axford and colleagues do Evans reminding us in another article that this is one the positives outweigh the negatives, and it is of the main things that users want to do!). However, testimony to those involved in that series of projects is this just going to be too bureaucratic and remote that the process of seeking out and pooling data from daily reality (too ‘rational’ and ‘linear’, as the across agencies seemed to break the mould. The complexity theorists would have us believe) for it to discipline that is recommended could apply outside result in positive change? children’s services, and might well have avoided, in Should managers therefore put their efforts into learning disability Joint Investment Plans, the chilling better formal planning, or into facilitating the observation made by Ward and her colleagues that ‘emergence’ of better outcomes and better quality by other means? Or has someone perfected a balance many JIPs failed to include fundamental, basic between the two? I invite your comments, stories and information about either the local population of articles. 2 Journal of Integrated Care Volume 12 • Issue 3 • June 2004 © Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) Ltd
Journal of Integrated Care – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2004
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