Personal health budgets
What are personal health budgets?
A personal health budget is an amount of money to support your individual healthcare and wellbeing needs. People eligible for a budget, together with the local NHS team, develop a care plan to help decide their health and wellbeing goals and to identify how the budget will be spent to enable them to reach those goals and keep them healthy and safe.
Personal health budgets could be use to pay for a range of different approaches, including non-medical treatment, as long as they are agreed by the local NHS team and are designed to meet health and wellbeing goals.
What's happened so far?
Around half of all Primary Care Trusts ran pilot projects in England between 2008 and 2012 to test how personal health budgets work in practice. The evidence from the final evaluation of the pilots suggests they could benefit people with mental health problems, improving their experience of care and reducing their use of other NHS services.
The Government have announced that by April 2014, everyone in receipt of NHS Continuing Healthcare will have a right to ask for a personal health budget, including a direct payment for healthcare.
The Mandate to NHS England also states that by 2015 “patients who could benefit will have the option to hold their own personal health budget, subject to the evaluation of the pilot programme, as a way to have even more control over their care”.
What is Mind doing?
Mind supports the principles behind personal health budgets of more choice and greater flexibility in mental health services. However, we want to make sure that they work for people with mental health problems and that people can access advice and support to help them make the most of this opportunity. We also want to make sure that the services used by people who don't want personal health budgets are protected.
Mind is currently exploring what people with mental health problems want from this policy and has conducted a survey and a series of focus groups to find out what you think. We will be lobbying the Department of Health to make sure that mental health is at the heart of the development of personal health budgets.
If you would like more information about personal health budgets and Mind's role, please contact Vicki Ensor.