The continued impact of personal health budgets
Personal health budgets are an important current policy direction for health care in England. From October 2014 onwards, individuals eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare have a right to have a personal health budget. The decision to roll out personal health budgets followed a three-year Department of Health pilot programme that began in 2009, and an independent evaluation that ran alongside. Of the 64 sites in the personal health budgets pilot at onset, 20 were selected to be in-depth evaluation sites, with the remainder forming the wider cohort (Forder et al 2012).
The evaluation found that using care-related quality of life measured net benefits; personal health budgets were cost effective. However, the study involved exploring the impact of receiving a personal health budget under ‘pilot’ conditions, and therefore was not in a position to provide answers about the continued implication of personalisation in the form of personal health budgets on both the NHS system and patients. The evaluation could also only make tentative assumptions as to the affordability of personal health budgets after the pilot programme (Forder et al 2012).
This was an independent evaluation commissioned and funded by the Policy Research Programme in the Department of Health. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Department.
The Department of Health have recently commissioned a study to explore the continued impact of personal health budgets on service providers and patient empowerment.