Norman Lamb, Minister of State for Care Services, has today set
out the Government's intention to allow people to control the
spending of funding allocated to them for health. The announcement
follows the positive results of a pilot project, which has shown
that with a personal health budget, people's quality of life can
improve and visits to hospital can decrease.
National Charity, In Control, pioneered the concept of personal
budgets in social care and is the main strategic partner to the
Department of Health Personal Health Budgets programme. In 2013 it
will be launching a new Health Membership Programme, to help PCTs,
CCGs and other organisations to successfully implement personal
In Control CEO, Julie Stansfield said: "We are extremely
pleased, as we know many families will be, to see such strong
evidence that enabling people to self direct their health support
via personal health budgets is making a positive difference.
"Over the past four years we have worked with NHS staff across
the country promoting and developing self directed support and
personal budgets. Through these pilots we have seen a variety of
people receive a personal budget and witnessed what a positive
difference this has made to their lives.
"This is a fantastic achievement and it is welcome news that,
very importantly, there are plans to expand the use of personal
health budgets, regardless of the condition and logically,
dependent on the level of need. "
"More families will now have the opportunity to gain choice and
control over their own care."
Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb said: "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."
The husband of Elaine Cotterill, from St Helens, Merseyside,
currently receives a direct payment from the local council. She
said: "It is such a relief to see that personal health budgets are
moving forward. I have been told that if my husband's health
deteriorates any further, that we will no longer be able to have a
direct payment through the council as he will be classed as
requiring continuing health care.
"We were dreading this, as it means we could lose the direct
payment and therefore the control we currently have,
including the personal assistants we employ that allow John to stay
at home with his family where he belongs. This announcement gives
us hope now, that as and when John needs continuing health care, we
can continue to self direct our support, stay in control and stay
together as a family."
The important, not to be missed, factors in implementing
personal health budgets have been laid out in an In Control
publication, Personal Health Budgets for Continuing Healthcare: 10
features of an effective process by Vidhya Alakeson.
www.in-control.org.uk/media/119345/10 features of an effective
In further developing work, Health POET and In Control's new
Health Membership, In Control is collating findings from personal
health budget holders that highlight the positive impact that
freedom and control are having on families.
For more information about I Control's expertise and work in
health, visit: www.in-control.org.uk/health