Recent pilots of personal budgets for disabled and elderly patients were hailed as a success at the announcement of the scheme.
The accompanying report suggests that the reforms should eventually cover long-term conditions, as suggested in Lord Darzi’s interim report.
Spanning six government departments, the reforms allow direct payments into the accounts of people means-assessed to receive public funding, giving them the choice of care services previously only available to those who fund their care themselves.
Health secretary Alan Johnson said it was a ‘radical transfer of power from the state to the public’.
The reforms will increase competition between care providers to ensure excellence rather than merely meeting minimum standards, the health secretary said.
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