Twenty sites across England are to take part in a study to identify the benefits of personal health budgets, care services minister Phil Hope announced today.
The three-year evaluation will examine which patient groups will benefit most from the budgets, which are based on personal budgets for social care and are designed to give patients greater choice over their care.
The 20 sites are among 70 selected earlier this year to pilot personal health budgets for a varying range of client groups, including people with mental health problems, learning disabilities and long-term neurological conditions.
Health Bill to enable pilots
The pilots will be enabled through the current Health Bill, which will permit the NHS to issue direct payments for patients to pay for care and is due to have its third and final reading in the House of Commons next week, having already passed through the Lords.
Hope said: “This study will help us to understand the benefits and limitations of personal health budgets and ensure that they provide the maximum possible benefits to as many patients as possible.”
PSSRU leads evaluation
The personal social services research unit (PSSRU) at the University of Kent will be in overall charge of the evaluation, which also involves York University’s social policy research unit and Imperial College, London.
Newsletters, research summaries and interim reports will be made available online.
In Control and individual health budgets
Explanations of the key terms used in personalisation