The benefit of budgets – now we’re really talking patient power

Guest Blog by Dr Iseult Roche

Five million people are expected to benefit from new personal health budgets by 2018. It is hoped this will enable patients with chronic conditions to obtain ownership and independence over their own care.

Social services have previously used Personal Budgets, where approximately  650,000 people benefited from them, and they have been introduced as a “right to have” for people with continuing care needs in the health service this year.

The innovative concept to extend their use in health and social care has been announced by  Simon phbthumbStevens, the NHS England chief executive.

It is anticipated health and social care budgets could be combined and budgets will probably  come from funding awarded to councils and clinical commissioning groups that are successful in delivering localized,  integrated and well managed care and achieve good outcomes for those allocated the budgets.

Simon Stevens, in The Guardian,  is quoted as saying “We are going to set out the biggest offer to bring health and social care together that there’s been since 1948 – a new option for combining them at the level of the individual.”

Although some doctors and patients alike may have some concerns over how patients will manage these budgets, and certainly vulnerable people may well need support to manage their budget effectively, this is a significant step forward in patient-centred care. Helping promote patient involvement and shared management of their own care (which surely in the longer term will be of benefit and may promote health compliance and health understanding) in a chronic health condition is vital.

See the comprehensive 2020health report: Personal Health Budgets: A revolution in personalisation

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About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social entrepreneur, writer, campaigner and commentator. She is based in London and is the founder and Chief Executive of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal. Through networking, technology, research, relationships and campaigning 2020health has influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. Julia studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991. Her career has included being a visiting lecturer at City University, a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital, working with south London Primary Care Trusts and as a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. She specialised in diabetes (University of Warwick Certificate in Diabetic Care) and founded Julia Manning Eyecare in 2004, a home and prison visiting practice for people with mental and physical disabilities using the latest digital technology, which she sold to Healthcall (now part of Specsavers) in 2009. Experiences of working in the NHS, contributing to policy development, raising two children in the inner-city and standing in the General Election in Bristol in 2005 led to Julia forming 2020health at the end of 2006. Julia is a regular guest on TV and radio shows such as BBC News, ITV’s Daybreak/ GMB, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions, BBC Radio, LBC and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week. She is mum to a rugby-mad son, a daughter passionate about Shakespeare, and wife of a comprehensive school assistant head-teacher. She loves gardening, ballet, Zimbabwe, her Westies Skye and Angus, is an honorary research associate at UCL and a Fellow of the RSA.
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