Personal budgets are defined by the NHS as “the amount of money your local council will pay towards any social care and support you need”. They focus on care and support, and have historically been considered separately from personal heath budgets or integrated personal budgets. This is a promise to extend their use.
On June 16th 2017, a partnership programme between NHS England and the Local Government Association called Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC), published a guide on integrated personal budgets and personal health budgets outlining a best practice approach. Essentially, the IPC model builds on the principles of personal budgets, adding more options for patients to combine their personal budget with other sources of funding. They are calling this the IPC Personal Budget – it means we should also consider developments in personal health budgets and integrated personal budgets when assessing this pledge.
From April to June 2018, the government ran a consultation on extending the right to personal health budgets and integrated personal budgets. The government’s response committed it to increasing the number of people eligible for personal health budgets.
In January 2019, the NHS Long Term Plan was published, with increased personalised care as part of an integrated healthcare model at its heart. Following soon after that, the government made a further announcement restating the commitment from its consultation response:
“Over 40,000 people currently benefit from personal health budgets, and the government plans to increase this to up to 200,000 people by 2024.”
The roll-out of the IPC personal budget model, the consultation and government response on extending personal health budgets, and the publication of the NHS Long Term plan with its focus on increasingly personalised care, all suggest this policy is ‘in progress’. To consider moving it to ‘done’, we will need evidence of an increase in the number of people with access to personal budgets. Follow this policy to get updates.