DoH accused of 'dithering' on personal health budgets

Personal health budgets are to be tested in a series of pilots in England, the DoH has revealed.

The pilots will begin next year and consider direct payments where appropriate. The DoH believes that personal health budgets will be most likely to work for patients with fairly stable and predictable conditions who are well placed to make informed choices about their treatment, such as some of those with long-term conditions.

The government says the decision to pilot personal health budgets was influenced by a report on individual social care budgets published at the same time. The report found that, although individual budgets brought benefits in social care, there were significant challenges involved in introducing them.

Personal health budgets will, the DoH believes, improve the quality of service delivery and empower patients to have more choice and control by highlighting the benefits of personal health budgets.

The Conservatives have, however, accused the government of dithering over introducing individual budgets.

‘It is clear that the best way of breaking down health and social care barriers is to have individual budgets that extend to the relevant parts of health care’, shadow Conservative health minister Stephen O’Brien said.

‘For the sake of those with long-term, predictable conditions, the government must speed up on this.’

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Practice nurse with patient

Patient safety fears as one in three practice nurses near retirement

General practice is facing a nurse retirement timebomb, with more than a third of...

A&E entrance

Hospitals warn of rising flu admissions and A&E pressures

Hospitals in England have warned that the number of patients being admitted for flu...

Woman on a phone call while using a computer

How the GMC's updated Good Medical Practice applies in real life

MDU medico-legal adviser Dr Ellie Mein looks at how the GMC’s updated guidance would...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Where next for the GP contract, plus Labour’s plan for neighbourhood health centres

Talking General Practice looks at what the BMA's might be looking to achieve in negotiations...


More than 2,000 GP practices switch to registering patients online

More than 2,000 GP practices have signed up to accept patient registrations via an...

Police car

One in eight GPs forced to call police over abusive patients

One in eight GPs have had to call the police to handle an abusive patient in the...