In a recent article in The Guardian, 'Budget cuts lend impetus
to integrating health and social care' on 6th November,
personal health budgets has been yet again acknowledged as a key
part of how social care and health services will take on challenges
of the future and ensure that patients are truly at the centre of
any care plans.
The article, while discussing the challenge of reducing budgets
and increased funding pressures, raises the issue of the importance
of integration across NHS, government and social care if these
organisations are going to be able to make better use of
diminishing resources while still providing better support for
The problem however, is ensuring that the changes needed go
ahead despite inertia within the organisations involved and some
disquiet by a public concerned over change.
Within this framework, personal health budgets are however seen
as a 'must have'. The article acknowledges its role as a key driver
of ensuring the service user's voice is heard and that personal
budgets are enabling not just an integration of services but an
integration of services with a persons life. Personal budgets can
also play an important role in reducing dependency and cost by
moving power from institutions to individuals and encouraging
service providers to listen to what people want.
This is quite a sea change with care services having been too
ready to take a paternalistic approach to people's needs, which has
crushed independence and pushed up costs.
Now however, the need for better integration combined with
support in place to enable people to live their lives as they
choose, has ensured that personal budgets are very much integral to
any change within social care now and in the future.
To read the full article visit