On 30 November 2012, Official Report, column 37WS, I informed the House of our intention to roll out personal health budgets, including direct payments for health care, beyond the pilot programme.
In November we committed to publishing a consultation on the policy changes that the Department proposes to make to the National Health Service (Direct Payments) Regulations 2010 in light of the learning from the pilot programme. Today we have published the consultation and we welcome views on it.
Primary legislation will need to be updated in order to allow direct payments for health care in the NHS beyond the pilot programme. An order will be laid before Parliament under the affirmative procedure in the near future which, subject to parliamentary approval, will allow us to make the necessary changes to the regulations following on from the consultation.
“Direct Payments For Health Care—a consultation on updated policy for regulations” has been placed in the Library. Copies are available to hon. Members from the Vote Office and to noble Lords from the Printed Paper Office.