Update on Personal Health Budgets

In Control recently organised an excellent webinar on Personal Health Budgets (PHB’s)Personal health Budgets flyer .

The key messages were:

  • A PHB should be seen as more than just NHS resources, it is the basis of a conversation between the practitioner and the individual.
  • Its aim is to increase individuals control over their own health and increase therapeutic outcomes.
  • The focus is to be on the whole person and not just their condition.
    PHB’s are being introduced because of the shift  in focus from short-term acute  responses to managing long-term conditions.
  • PHB’s recognise peoples lived experience  of their condition.
  • The money and resources allocated through a PHB  should not be seen in isolation but how they can be combined  with other assets  such as the person’s own family and their community .

There are currently 20 in-depth pilot sites and 40 wider studies covering a huge spectrum of services. From 2014 anyone eligible for Continuing Healthcare will be eligible for a personal health budget.

The evidence emerging so far is that a greater variety of services are being purchased and there is anecdotal evidence of improvement in health, greater efficiencies and better value for money. The process of accessing and managing a PHB is similar to that of a personal budget for social care and there are moves to integrate the two processes to avoid unnecessary bureaucracy.

A powerful example was given of how a family is using a personal health budget to care for a parent with dementia. The cost of his care package is the same as when he was receiving full-time daycare where he had no choice about what activities he took part in and was highly medicated . The family now employ a team of carers (Crossroads care manage the package on their behalf) so he now has choices in his life. He is still living at home and  his medication has halved as he is more stimulated , calm and engaged in everyday life.

Will keep you updated as more evidence emerges from the pilot sites