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Personal health budgets extended

More people to benefit from flexibility of personal health budgets

Published on 8th November 2019

People using wheelchairs and those requiring support for mental health problems are to be offered personal health budgets following a change in legislation.

From 2 December, everyone eligible for an NHS wheelchair and people who require aftercare services under section 117 of the Mental Health Act will have access to a personal health budget after legislation was recently laid in parliament.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said: "Everyone deserves the right to make decisions about their care, and health and care should be centred around each and every one of us, not a one-size-fits-all approach.

"Our NHS Long Term Plan has personalised care at its core. This important piece of legislation puts the power back in the hands of more people, transforming the wellbeing and quality of life for thousands while also reducing distressing and avoidable hospital trips," he added.

Personal health budgets are planned and agreed between individuals and clinicians which means people have greater choice, flexibility and control over their health and care support.

A personal health budget could be spent on:

- A specially adapted wheelchair, designed to maximise independence.

- Personal care assistants who can be trained to meet the individual’s needs.

- Exercise classes to promote physical and mental wellbeing and reduce stress and anxiety.

Over 70,000 people already receive personal health budgets, helping people with complex needs stay healthy and independent for longer. However as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, the health system will increase access so up to 200,000 people can receive one by 2024.

The NHS will explore how personal health budgets can be extended further to other groups such as people with ongoing mental health needs and those with learning disabilities.

Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage said: "I’ve seen for myself how personal health budgets are giving people a new lease of life, opening up possibilities to let them live their lives fully.

"This extension of legal rights will give many more people independence, a say in how they’re cared for, improving their experiences while ensuring value for money for taxpayers.

"This is an important step in our NHS Long Term Plan’s ambition to see personalised care become the norm for thousands more across the country." she added.

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists chief executive Julia Scott said: "The Royal College supports expanding personalised health budgets as they allow the person needing support more control over how their needs are met . Personalised care is at the heart of what occupational therapists do. Every individual is different and occupational therapists tailor their approach to each person, helping them live the lives they want to.

"Occupational therapists have a unique role to play in embedding personalised care within Health and Care as demonstrated in our report Making personalised care a reality: The role of occupational therapy, released earlier in 2019. With occupational therapists working in both mental health and wheelchair services, this expansion of the right to have personalised budgets, will ensure they can truly advocate for people to be active participants, in their health and care," she added.

 

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