Patient budgets may only benefit 'more able' groups

Pilot sites for personal health budgets have raised concerns that the scheme might only benefit 'more able groups' that are able to navigate the system, an evaluation report reveals.

The report, written for the DoH by the University of Kent, says early adopter sites were ‘enthusiastic’ about the potential of personal health budgets.

But Early experiences of implementing personal health budgets says fears emerged that specific groups of patients benefited more than others.

‘A view held by one site was that ‘self-selecting (white middle class)’ people would be more likely to access personal health budgets,’ the report says.

It also says pilots found reluctance from other groups, for example elderly patients who ‘may find it too much’.

Concerns were also raised about the cost and time implications of supporting patients through the process.

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