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350k patients could benefit from personal NHS budgets

350k patients could benefit from personal NHS budgets

Hundreds of thousands more patients could receive personalised NHS budgets, the Government has revealed.
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Hundreds of thousands more patients could receive personalised NHS budgets, the Government has revealed.
 
Up to 350,000 people might be eligible for personal health budgets as the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) proposes to extend patients’ ‘right to have personal health budgets to other groups that could benefit’.
 
The DHSC said that personal health budgets are ‘intended to help people who may not always get the best out of the NHS to get a better service’. In the first nine months of 2017/18 alone, almost 23,000 people received a personal health budget.
 
‘Confusing’ system
 
Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage told Healthcare Leader today (16 April) that the current health and social care system can be ‘confusing’ for people withcomplex needs.
 
She added: ‘It’s right people should be involved in the important decisions about how their care is delivered.
 
‘These changes will put the power back into the hands of patients and their families, potentially allowing up to 350,000 extra people to take up a personal health budget if they so wish.
 
‘This would not only improve quality of life and the care they receive, it will offer good value for money for the taxpayer and reduce pressure on emergency care by joining up health and social care services at a local level.’
 
Reducing costs
 
Recent evidence shows that personal health budgets brought down NHS continuing healthcare home care package costs by an average of 17%, according to the DHSC.
 
At the moment, only individuals receiving continuing healthcare and children and young people receiving continuing care have the right to have a personal health budget, although Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) can offer personal health budgets to other groups if appropriate.
 
Under the proposals, the following groups could benefit from personal health budget:
 
·      People with ongoing social care needs, who also make regular and ongoing use of relevant NHS services.
 
·      People eligible for Section 117 aftercare services, and people of all ages with ongoing mental health needs who make regular and ongoing use of community based NHS mental health services.
 
·      People leaving the Armed Forces, who are eligible for ongoing NHS services.
 
·      People with a learning disability, autism or both, who are eligible for ongoing NHS care.
 
·      People who access wheelchair services whose posture and mobility needs impact their wider health and social care needs.

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