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Personal health budgets no longer on request

Personal health budgets no longer on request

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Close to 47,000 patients with long-term conditions will have a right to a personal healthcare budget, Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb has announced. 

Lamb said the adjustment would mean that even clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) that are “resistant to change [and] empowering individuals” would have to allow patients to plan their own care. 

Following an NHS England pilot, everyone eligible for NHS continuing healthcare funding would have been able to request a personal healthcare budget as of April 2014.  

However, speaking at an event in London, Lamb said that by October 2014, there will be a right to have a personalised health budget for all patients on the scheme. 

He said: “I was concerned that a right to request wouldn’t be powerful enough. Will it be enough for those CCGs who are resistant to change, to empowering individuals? 

“So I decided that we had to move to a right to have a personal health budget for people on NHS Continuing Care. It may seem like a little tweak to the rules, but it is potentially very important to individuals.” 

The latest government figures show that 46,599 patients were receiving NHS continuing healthcare at the end of March 2009. 

According to Lamb, bringing in personal health budgets and direct payments will  “give power to the people”. 

“Often it’s the individual who is the best integrator of care than anyone, making the best decisions on what is necessary and how that can be joined up,” he said. 

“We know that in social care it’s been very powerful to deliver results to people. We need to spread that approach to parts of the NHS that have treated the patient as a passive recipient of care with no say over what happens to them.” 

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