Today I am publishing the joint response from the Government and NHS England to a recent consultation exploring extending legal rights to personal health budgets and integrated personal budgets. The response is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/personal-health-budgets-and-integrated-personal-budgets-extending-legal-rights and a copy has also been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.
Across the health and social care system, there is an ever growing shift towards personalising care, including an increasing amount of people choosing to take on a budget. It is clear that people value being involved in the planning of their care, being able to make choices and personalise their support in a way that best meets their bespoke needs. The evidence is clear; through personalised care, people are more satisfied, have better outcomes, and are able to explore more innovative approaches that better meet their individual needs.
The Government are therefore committed to increasing the extent to which people can exercise greater choice and control over their care. Personal health budgets, and all other features of a personalised care approach as set out within the “Comprehensive model of Personalised Care”, including shared decision making and personalised care and support planning, are the key mechanisms for delivering this change.
Given this commitment, we consulted on potentially extending the legal rights to personal health budgets and integrated personal budgets, to the following five groups:
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.
The outcome of the consultation was hugely positive, with 87% of respondents, on average, agreeing with each proposal made. At the same time, respondents outlined their positivity for personalised care more broadly, citing the positive impacts personalised care can bring to people’s lives.
We are committed to delivering an ambitious package of personalised care that will enable up to 5 million people to benefit in the next decade. As part of this ambition, we now intend to take forward work to extend the legal rights to people eligible for section 117 aftercare services, and people who access wheelchair services whose posture and mobility needs impact their wider health and social care needs. We will also continue to further explore both the other groups we consulted on, and additional groups who we believe could also benefit from having a right to have a personal health budget.
We want personalised care to become business as usual; and the ambitious package set out in this response, the “NHS Long Term Plan”, and universal personalised care will enable us to do this.