Continuing care clients to gain right to personal budget, says Norman Lamb

Care minister says people receiving NHS-funded social care will be able to have personal health budget from 2014 onwards, other than in exceptional circumstances

People on NHS-continuing care will have the right to receive their funding as a personal budget from next year, other than in exceptional circumstances, care minister Norman Lamb has said.

Previously, government policy had been to give continuing care clients the right to request a personal health budget (PHB) from April 2014, but Lamb said this week that this would be upgraded to the right to have, from October of next year.

In a written ministerial statement, Lamb said this would enable people on social care personal budgets who transition to continuing care to enjoy continuity of care and retain choice over how they are supported.

“There will continue to be people for whom PHBs are not appropriate but by giving a ‘right to have’ we will ensure that they will only be declined on clinical or financial grounds which are deemed to make a PHB unviable,” he added.

About 56,000 people are in receipt of continuing care in England. This means that their social care needs are met in full by the NHS on the grounds that they arise primarily from a health need.

For other client groups, such as people with mental health problems or learning disabilities, it will be up to clinical commissioning groups whether to offer them personal health budgets.

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