William Eichler 21 February 2019

Whitehall to expand access to personal health budgets by 200,000

Whitehall to expand access to personal health budgets by 200,000 image

Hundreds of thousands more people will be able to access personal health budgets, the Government has announced.

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, 200,000 more people who access aftercare services will be able to have personal health budgets, bringing the total to 240,000.

These budgets are planned and agreed between individuals and clinicians, giving people greater choice, flexibility and control over their health and care support.

Among other things, these budgets will be able to be spent on specially adapted wheelchairs designed to maximise independence.

They can also go towards providing a choice of personal assistants who can be specially trained to meet the individual’s needs, and technology that could reduce the need for support from a carer.

‘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,’ said the minister for care Caroline Dinenage.

‘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.’

James Sanderson, NHS England Director of Personalised Care 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.’

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