People receiving continuing healthcare support from the NHS will
have the right to ask for a personal health budget by April
The announcement has been made by Health Secretary Andrew
Lansley and it will give tens of thousands of people who receive
NHS Continuing Healthcare - those assessed to have complex health
and care needs - more choice and control over their care.
Commenting on the announcement, 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.
"[Personal budgets] 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."
Rita Brewis who leads In Control's health work, said: "In
Control wholeheartedly welcomes the latest announcement from the
Health Secretary which will open up the possibility of many
thousands of people having more power and control over decisions
over their health care, and contributing their creativity and ideas
to improving or maintaining their health and wellbeing as active
participants. We hope that the overall drive for a changed
relationship between the NHS and people with ongoing health
conditions can evolve across people with a range of illnesses.
"What will be important, from our perspective, is that in time
this approach is available for everyone who wants to have more say
in the decisions which are effecting their day-to-day lives. We
think that those decisions will be most effective when they are
informed by best professional health advice on treatment options
synthesised with what matters most from an individual's
perspective. It will also be necessary for people to have
sufficient advice, information and support to enable them to pick
up as much or as little shared responsibility for their health care
in a way that works best for them. Peer support and information
about how other people have achieved good outcomes will be another
vital aspect of this evolution in health care."
There are currently over 1,300 people receiving personal health
budgets within the Department of Health pilot programme for a range
of conditions; long-term illness; 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.
The announcement follows the independent NHS Future Forum report
which recommended action to promote personal budgets and implement
them within five years to give patients access to tailored
Early feedback shows that individuals have already experienced
benefits with personal health budgets from using exercise classes
to treat depression or enabling people who need 24/7 care to employ
and train their own carers rather than relying on expensive agency
See our webpages for information
about our work to implement personal health budgets.