Government announce expanded budgets for personalised health and care support
The Department of Health and Social Care have announced plans to increase the number of personal health budgets, targeting 200,000 by 2024. The current number is 40,000.
Key to this initiative is widening the scope of who is entitled to such plans. Under this new initiative, wheelchair users and those who access aftercare provision under the Mental Health Act will now have the right to a personal health budget.
Personal health budgets allow individuals to choose their own support. This could include choosing personal assistants who can be specifically identified to match the individual’s needs, technology or equipment to reduce the amount of support required from a carer or a specially adapted wheelchair which can serve to maximise independence.
Alongside these two groups, the government are also planning to expand this provision to cover: people with continuing mental health needs, veterans, autistic people, people with learning disabilities and adults who receive social care support.
Last year, the Department of Health and Social Care, alongside NHS England, conducted a survey to assess the response to the extension of personal health budgets.
The report found that nearly 90 per cent of respondents agreed with these extensions.
This new proposal will form part of the NHS Long Term Plan which aims to provide personalised care to 2.5 million people by 2024.
Personal health budgets are agreed between individuals and clinicians and are designed to give individuals greater control and flexibility over their own care support.
This can also reduce pressure on emergency care as programmes can be more specifically tailored to the needs of each individual.
In response to this announcement, Caroline Dinenage, the Minister for Care, stated that: “I’ve seen first-hand how personal health budgets can give people a new lease of life, granting them the ability to enjoy their lives to the full.
"These budgets help to join up health and social care services, improving people’s experiences and outcomes whilst ensuring value for money for taxpayers.
“We are therefore extending access so many more people can benefit, a key part of our NHS Long Term Plan which will see personalised care become the norm for millions more.”
Similarly, the NHS England Director of Personalised Care, James Sanderson, said: “ The NHS Long Term Plan will see more than 2.5 million patients benefit from measures like personal health budgets and social prescribing, which mean people have more choice and control over their health, wellbeing and treatment.
“Dealing with long-term health problems means moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach, and towards more tailored care, with 1,000 social prescribing workers in GP surgeries, closer working with voluntary groups and most importantly asking patients what support they need to live independently and well.”