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QIPP and Personal Health Budgets Report

Personal health budgets could help towards the £20 billion NHS savings needed over the next four years* according to a new In Control report.

The report, 'Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) and  Personal Health Budgets' identifies how personal health budgets could contribute to the savings that need to be made by the NHS - and improve the quality of services.

In the Comprehensive Spending Review, the Government announced its commitment to the expansion of personal health budgets, which give people with established health needs, choice and control over their healthcare.

A programme to pilot the use of personal health budgets with 64 primary care trusts (PCTs) is currently running.

According to the report, which was produced in partnership with NHS North West Strategic Health Authority and the North West Joint Improvement Partnership, there are seven areas where personal health budgets could contribute to efficiency gains and service quality improvements in the NHS.

Involving people in decisions and being responsive to their needs:
Expecting individuals to be active participants rather than passive recipients of services has been shown to improve health outcomes and reduce the costs of care.

Improving health outcomes by putting people in control of their own care:

Through personal health budgets, patients become part of formulating the problem, identifying the solution and evaluating effectiveness. Being in control has been shown to improve individual health.

Developing alternative, less costly packages of care:
Personal health budgets provide individuals with the opportunity to develop tailored packages of care rather than slotting into a menu of commissioned services that can be more expensive .

Reducing the overall use of services through greater prevention:
There are significant opportunities to use the flexibility and person centred nature of a personal health budget in a preventative way to reduce costs elsewhere in the NHS, particularly the costs of unplanned admissions and use of emergency services.

Increasing competition between providers:

One of the central policy objectives of personal health budgets is to make providers more responsive to the needs of service users by giving people the ability to put pressure on providers to develop a new set of services or see custom go elsewhere.

Improving coordination between services:
Personal health budgets can be an important tool for improving coordination, particularly between NHS and social services and in the transition from children's to adults services.

Changing professional roles:
By shifting control to individuals and families, personal health budgets will reduce the need for professionally trained staff.

The paper also highlights the existing evidence on cost effectiveness of personal budgets in social care, which shows one local authority achieving 12 per cent savings, with the average savings being nine per cent.**

Vidhya Alakeson, from In Control's health programme - Staying in Control, said: "The potential for personal health budgets to contribute to efficiency savings in the NHS, and to improve service users' lives is clear.  Experience from social care creates a certain amount of confidence that these opportunities can be realised.  

"We all have a vested interest in ensuring that NHS resources are put to the best possible use to create the biggest possible improvement in people's health and lives.  Keeping people well and in employment, preventing their conditions from deteriorating and avoiding hospitalisation and residential placements by providing effective community-based care are all areas where significant efficiency savings can be made.  Personal health budgets have an important contribution to make in all of these areas."

You can download a copy of the 'QIPP and Personal Health Budgets' report below.

*In the Comprehensive Spending Review in October, an 0.4 per cent increase in spending was announced for the next three years.  However analysis by the Kings Fund and Institute for Fiscal studies suggests that an increase of 1.1 per cent per year between now and 2017 is required just to meet demographic pressures while maintaining current standards.  A gap of between £15 billion and £30 billion will have to be made up through efficiency savings.

** Figures from In Control's evaluations 2003-2005 and 2005 to 2007.

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  • QIPP and Personal Health Budgets

    The report identifies how personal health budgets could contribute to the savings that need to be made by the NHS - and improve the quality of services.

Last Updated : 24 March 2011. Page Author: Laura Bimpson.