Today, and following consultation, I am pleased to announce that I am laying legislation that will extend the legal right to have a personal health budget to a further two groups. These groups are:
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.
The evidence base for personalised care demonstrates a positive impact on people, professionals and the system. It is shown to produce better outcomes and experiences, improving individual’s quality of life, whilst reducing health inequalities. It has also demonstrated the ability to reduce pressures on the system—people who are more confident and able to manage their health conditions have 18% fewer GP contacts, and 38% fewer emergency admissions than people with the least confidence.
That is why the provision of personalised care was a central component of the NHS long-term plan, with the intention of making personalised care, business as usual. This means reaching 2.5 million people by 2023-24, doubling that within the decade.
Significant progress has already been made. Over 70,000 people now have a personal health budget; nearly a 300% increase compared to the same time two-years ago. “Universal Personalised Care” has also recently been published, setting out the 21 actions that together we will take in the coming years. It can be found at: www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/universal-personalised-care.pdf
Personal health budgets are integral to delivering personalised care, and this extension marks an important step in delivering our ambition. We will continue to explore the feasibility of further extension and consult in due course.
The consultation on extending the right to have a personal health budget was concluded on 8 June 2018 and the consultation response published on 21 February 2019. The changes to the regulations are being made at the earliest opportunity to bring about these positive impacts as soon as possible and will come into force on 2 December, rather than awaiting a common commencement date.