Vidhya Alakeson discusses how personal health budgets will transform care for people with long-term needs

Vidhya Alakeson, In Control associate, discusses the issue of individual budgets and the how the NHS will have to adapt in a recent article in The Guardian.

From April this year, those with highly complex, long-term health needs who are eligible for NHS continuing healthcare will have the right to ask for their care to be delivered as a personal health budget and, explains Vidhya, the NHS will have to be ready and able to respond.

She goes on to highlight why this change is so important, introducing us to Stephen one of the personal budget holders who feature in her book, Delivering Personal Health Budgets, pointing out that 'It wasn't until Stephen participated in a personal health budget pilot in Nottinghamshire in 2010 that he was able to gain control of his care'.

She goes on to say that while, 'Personal health budgets present an opportunity for the NHS to broaden its focus from delivering healthcare to supporting people with health needs to live their lives to the fullest extent possible', there are some key challenges facing the NHS such as being able to unlock money from existing contracts and being able to change the way they do things or potentially 'lose out to new entrants'.

She goes on to explain that 'Budget holders will demand greater flexibility and a broader, more preventive range of care services than the NHS currently buys. For clinicians, it will mean a willingness to explore new approaches to meeting long-term health needs.'

'I wrote Delivering Personal Health Budgets as a guide to implementation with the aim that many more people who depend on the NHS could experience the same life-changing impact from a personal health budget as Stephen and his family.'

You can hear more from Vidhya about implementing personal health budgets as well as gain her insight into how to the 10 features of an effective process within NHS continuing healthcare by joining our webinar on Wednesday 15th January at 10am. There are still places available. To find out more about this and other webinars, as well as how to register, read our article on forthcoming webinars.

Vidhya's book 'Delivering personal health budgets' has been published this week. You can find out more and how to purchase a copy here.

She has also written a further blogpost about how the NHS will need to adapt for personal budget in long term health care for Policy Press which you can read here.

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Last Updated : 10 January 2014. Page Author: marijke.hirst.