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Nuffield Trust report on Personal health budgets published

Recently Nuffield Trust published a report on 'Personal Health Budgets: Challenges for commissioners and policy-makers' outlining what personal health budgets are, how they will work in practice and the issues they raise.

From 2014, personal health budgets will be offered to everyone who receives NHS continuing health care funding rather than receiving commissioned services. A personal health budget is an allocation of NHS money to someone with an identified health need so they can buy the services they think will improve their health and well-being.

The aim is for them to have greater control over their own care and planning of their care. However, despite a number of useful lessons being taken from the pilot programme, this report details some of the challenges commissioners and policy-makers face in the roll-out of personal health budgets and determining how they will fit into the mainstream NHS landscape such as:

  • Determining the appropriate value of a personal health budget;
  • Decommissioning existing services to fund personal health budgets;
  • Developing vibrant and diverse provider markets to support personal health budgets;
  • Finding the money to pay for the necessary infrastructure;
  • The scope of personal health budgets;
  • The impact of personal health budgets on care quality;
  • The longer-term financial sustainability of personal health budgets;
  • The risk of a postcode lottery emerging in access to personal health budgets.

The full report can be downloaded from the Nuffield Trust website. Vidhya Alakeson, who works with In Control on its health programme is co-author of the report. For more information about In Control's health work, please see our personal health budget webpages.

Last Updated : 02 September 2013. Page Author: Laura Bimpson.