Personal health budgets
Who can have a personal health budget?
In West Sussex we are piloting personal health budgets with a relatively small number of people from selected groups.
These groups are:
- Carers of people in the early stages of dementia living in the Crawley area (to help carers look after their own health and wellbeing).
- Adults with complex needs who have been assessed as eligible for continuing health care.
- Children with severe disabilities who have been assessed as eligible for continuing health care and/or continence care.
These groups were selected for the pilot after consultation with patients, carers and other groups for whom personal health budgets could make a difference to improve their quality of life.
How can I take part in the pilot?
If you feel you feel you meet the criteria above and would like to be considered for the pilot scheme, then contact Chris Moon-Willems (contact details right), who will put you in touch with the appropriate person.
About the pilot scheme
NHS West Sussex is working with the Department of Health and West Sussex County Council to explore whether giving people greater choice in deciding their own healthcare will lead to improvements in their health and wellbeing.
West Sussex County Council Social Services have already introduced personal budgets to enable people to have more say over how money is spent to meet their social care needs. This pilot will test how personalising health funding can work in a similar way within the NHS.
How will personal health budgets work?
Personal Health Budgets can work in three ways, or a combination of the following options:
NHS managed budget
No money changes hands. You find out how much money is available and talk to your health professional or care manager about the different ways to spend the money on meeting your outcomes or goals.
Direct payment to a third party
Money is paid to an organisation like the Independent Living Association (ILA) to hold the money on your behalf and help you arrange and buy the services you have chosen.
You, or a relative or friend acting on your behalf, receive the money to buy the care, support or other services you and your health professional or care manager decide you need. You have to show what you have spent it on, but you buy and manage your own services.
What can a personal health budget be used for?
Personal health payments:
- must meet the health and wellbeing needs assessed by your health professional
- can be spent on care and support, therapies, equipment, products and services
- cannot be used for emergency or GP services
- must not put you at risk of injury or harm
- cannot be spent on illegal activities, gambling, debt payment, alcohol or cigarettes.
Can I have a personal budget for social and health care?
We plan to work closely with West Sussex County Council Social Services for people who are eligible for both health and social care funding. Both budgets would be paid into your bank account which would be set up for the sole purpose of managing the combined fund.
What happens if my needs change?
If your health needs change, you will be reassessed by your health/social care professional and begin the process again. Your personal health budget may be increased or decreased as a result.
What will happen at the end of the pilot?
Until we evaluate the pilot in summer 2012, we don’t know what will happen in the future. We are therefore unable to guarantee that personal health budgets will continue after the pilot has ended. However, the NHS will still be responsible for your health needs.