The Department for Health and Social Care has announced plans to expand the budgets so that more people can access personalised healthcare. By 2024, it is hoped that up to 200,000 people will have a personal health budget which will allow people to choose their own care and support. This applies to wheelchair users as well as those who access aftercare services through the Mental Health Act.
Personal health budgets aim to let people choose their own care and support. With personalised budgets, users can select a range of services such as;
* Specially designed wheelchairs
* Personal assistants, trained to suit individual needs
* Assistance dogs, equipment and technology to reduce the dependency on carers.
At the moment, only 40,000 people have access to personal health budgets. However, the government wants to increase this figure five-fold to 200,000 people in the next five years.
Currently, there is a legal requirement to offer personal health budgets to wheelchair users and those who access aftercare through the Mental Health Act. However, the government wants to extend this and offer personal health budgets to;
* Autistic people
* Those with ongoing mental health needs
* Those with learning disabilities
* People receiving adult social care.
A recent survey found that 90% of respondents support the extension of personal health budgets.
The benefits of these budgets extend beyond giving people a greater choice; it also reduces the pressure on emergency care. It also provides more control and flexibility for both users and clinicians.
The NHS Director of Personalised Care, James Sanderson said; “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.”