On 4 October, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced that, subject to the evaluation, by April 2014, everyone who is eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare will have the right to ask for a personal health budget including a direct payment. The decision to make clear the intention to make this group the first to receive personal health budgets builds on early anecdotal evidence from the pilots as well as existing demand from this group – many of whom want to keep the control they have for managing their care within social care. Personal health budgets will be rolled out subject to evaluation of the pilot programme, which is due to end in October 2012.
This announcement reemphasises the Government’s support for personal health budgets, while recognising the importance of the evaluation in deciding the long-term eligibility for personal health budgets.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:
“Personal health budgets clearly fit with the future direction of a modern NHS – an NHS which focuses on quality and gives patients more control and choice.
They allow people to work with the NHS so that they can receive more personal, more tailored care which fit with an individual’s life and uses resources most effectively.
This is a solution which must come as part of a cultural shift for doctors, healthcare professionals, providers and patients which sees the patient as an equal partner in decisions about their care. It will personalise the NHS and provide more integrated high quality care across health and social care.”
A personal health budget is an amount of money that is allocated to patients so that they can use it to meet their health and wellbeing needs in a way that best suits them.
It aims to improve the patient experience by delivering care in the most appropriate setting and by the provider of their choice.
There are currently over 1,300 people receiving personal health budgets within the pilot programme for a range of conditions; long-term conditions; mental health; end of life care and NHS Continuing Healthcare.
Those eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare will be the first group to receive personal health budgets, building on early evidence from the pilots as well as existing demand from this group – many of whom want to keep the control they have for managing their care within social care.
For more information visit www.personalhealthbudgets.dh.gov.uk