Will PHBs Improve the NHS? © by 38 Degrees
“Wow!” That’s what I thought when I first heard it. “This is big.”
Did you know that, from the start of the roll-out in October 2012, fifty-three thousand people could be offered personal health budgets?
That’s right – 53,000 people. That’s more than you can fit in Liverpool Football Club’s stadium. It’s 40 times the number of people who are currently receiving personal health budgets. It’s a lot.
And how much money do those people represent? A whopping £2 billion a year in costs to the NHS.
People Receiving Continuing Care will be Offered Personal Health Budgets First
On October 4th, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced that personal health budgets will be offered first to the tens of thousands of people receiving NHS Continuing Healthcare.
People getting NHS Continuing Healthcare tend to be in one of 3 categories:
- People with complex medical conditions that require a lot of care and support
- People needing highly specialised nursing support
- People nearing the end of their lives, with conditions that are rapidly getting worse and may be terminal
The care is provided outside hospital and has traditionally been arranged by the NHS.
What is Covered by Continuing Care?
These are the kinds of services provided under Continuing Care:
- healthcare services provided by your GP or in hospital
- personal care at home (dressing, getting up, going to bed, bathing)
- meal deliveries (hot or frozen)
- day centres
- care in a care home
Who Foots the Bill for Continuing Care at the Moment?
Currently, continuing care is paid for either 100% by the NHS (for those who are eligible) or partly by the NHS and partly by your local authority. If some of the costs are being covered by your local authority, you may have to pay towards it as well (depending on your income and savings).
How Will Things Change?
If the personal health budget pilot programme is anything to go by, no-one will be forced to have a personal health budget. Instead, you’ll have the choice to have one or stick with your current healthcare arrangements.
If you do choose to have a personal health budget, you’ll have much more control over what sort of care you get to meet your healthcare needs and where you get it from. For example, you might currently receive regular advice from a dietician. Instead, with a personal health budget, you might decide to sign up to an online diet programme.
In this blog I’ll be writing about how to decide whether to choose a personal health budget or not, and how best to manage it if you do choose one.
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