From 2014, personal health budgets will be offered to people in receipt of continuing care. This report looks at what they are, how they will work in practice, and the issues they raise.
A personal health budget is an allocation of NHS money to someone with an identified health need so that they can buy the services they think will improve certain aspects of their health and wellbeing.
From April 2014, everyone who receives NHS continuing health care funding will be able to request a personal health budget rather than receiving commissioned services. The aim is for them to have greater control over planning their care.
As the roll-out of personal health budgets proceeds in the NHS, it will be critical to monitor their take up and to closely track spending to ensure that the potential they offer to personalise care does not come at the expense of additional costs for an already cash-strapped NHS Vidhya Alakeson, report co-author
The roll-out of personal health budgets will be a challenge for commissioners and policy-makers as they determine how personal health budgets will fit within the mainstream NHS landscape.
Issues for commissioners include:
For policy-makers, the areas of concern include:
Although the personal health budget pilot programme provided clinical commissioning groups with many useful lessons, important questions remain; many of which can only be fully answered as the roll-out of personal health budgets proceeds.