This document from the Department for Health outlines the pilot programme to develop personal health budgets. The pilot follows similar principles to the personal budgets for social care which are being introduced progressively.
The aim of a personal health budget is to deliver better quality care, especially more responsive care, by enabling people to take more control over the way money is spent on their healthcare. Primary Care Trusts and their partners are invited to experiment and be innovative and to support the pilot programme.
A personal health budget could work in many ways, including having a notional budget held by the commissioner or a budget managed on the patient’s behalf by a third party. PCTs already have extensive powers to offer these.
Further take-up of personal health budgets and further use of healthcare direct payments, will only be promoted if the pilot programme proves their effectiveness.
Full details of the pilot programme are available from the DoH.