The roll out of personal health budgets has been announced today by Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb. A personal health budget is an amount…
The roll out of personal health budgets has been announced today by Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb.
A personal health budget is an amount of money given to someone, to help them design a package of care support from clinicians and others, giving them more control over the nature of the treatment provided.
Personal health budgets have been piloted at 20 in-depth sites for the last three years, and an independent evaluation of the pilot programme published today has found that:
- people’s quality of life had improved
- if half of the people eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare chose to take the offer of a budget, this could imply a potential saving of around £90 million
- the amount of times people had to attend hospital decreased overall.
The benefits seemed to be felt more strongly by people with the highest health needs. As a result, the rollout will initially target those who are currently getting NHS Continuing Healthcare. By April 2014 up to 56,000 people on the NHS Continuing Healthcare scheme will have the right to ask for a personal health budget. It is also hoped that clinical commissioning groups will offer a personal health budget to more people with a long term condition who may benefit.
Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said:
“Independent analysis has now shown that personal health budgets can put people back in control of their care and make a significant difference to their quality of life. It’s inspiring to hear the human stories of success that these budgets have brought to people.
“The evaluation shows that those with the greatest needs benefit most from personal health budgets. That’s why we are giving people on NHS continuing healthcare the chance to get one first. And, I hope more people who could benefit will be given the option of one.” **
People talk about their experiences of personal health budgets
In these films people who participated in the pilot programme talk about what the process is like, what they spend their money on, how they decided on this, and the impact on their health and lives. The eight stories also include the perspectives of family carers and health care professionals.
Nikki from Dorset uses her personal budget to employ three carers on a flexible basis who can provide immediate care for severe flare ups of rheumatoid athritis, meaning few hospital admissions and a better quality of life.
The professionals’ stories
Health staff, including GPs, community nurses and care coordinators, describe how personal health budgets have improved their patients’ lives.