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DH finds £1.5m to roll out care budgets

Government identifies £1.5m to support first stage of personal health budgets

Louise Prime

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The Government has identified £1.5m for the first stage of a potential roll-out of personal health budgets, it announced this morning.

Evaluation of the pilots is due this autumn. The Department of Health said it had already earmarked the money so that the programme can start as quickly as possible – if and when it is given the go-ahead.

Care and support minister Norman Lamb said the money would help support the NHS through the first stage of the programme’s implementation, until the NHS Commissioning Board takes over responsibility for it next April.

Mr Lamb said: “We want to ensure more care is tailored around people’s individual needs and preferences. Giving those with complex health needs the control of how to spend money on their care gives them and their doctors the flexibility to try innovative new approaches to achieve better health outcomes.

“Subject to the results of the current pilot programme, our aim is to introduce a right to a personal health budget for people who would benefit from them most – the scale and pace of this will be informed by the independent evaluation.

“We want to be on the front foot as the results become known – that is why we’ve identified £1.5m to support the NHS in the first stage of the roll out as it starts to implement personal health budgets.”

The pilots, in which more than 60 primary care trusts from across England are engaged, include people whose complex care needs are paid for by the NHS through the NHS Continuing Healthcare scheme, as well as patients with long-term conditions including stroke, diabetes, neurological problems, mental illness and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. They work with their healthcare professionals to develop a care plan best suited to their needs; this, and the amount of money in their personal health budget, is then agreed with the PCT.

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