NHS England has announced that Personal Health Budgets have been given to 54,143 people so far, with an aim to expand to over 200,000 within five years.
Personal Health Budgets allow people with long-term health issues to take an active, decision-making role in what care is purchased for them. The majority of spending so far is on aspects of care, rather than treatment, such as assistance around the home.
The Chief Executive of NHS England and Improvement, Simon Stevens, said:
“These are practical but radical reforms enabling NHS patients to take direct control of their own care. While not right for everyone, for some people with long term health problems, the NHS is now offering them the opportunity to completely reshape the personal and health support they get. With over 50,000 people now choosing this route, this initiative has proven its practical benefits for patients and their families, and so will now be expanded further.”
The Budgets may be used to purchase items such as wheelchairs, or even home adaptations to make patients’ lives more independent.
James Sanderson, NHS England’s Director of Personalised Care Group, said:
“Instead of having their health care ‘done to’ them, people with personal health budgets are an equal and active partner in their own health care and able to make their own decisions.”
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