latest health care news


Personal Health Budgets roll-out announced

The Government has announced £1.5m for the roll-out of Personal Health Budgets (PHB), to help patients design their own care.

The budgets have had in-depth pilots at 20 sites over the last three years and an evaluation report found that patients’ quality of life improved and the amount of times people had to attend hospital decreased overall.

If half the people eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare chose to take the offer of a budget, it could mean a potential saving of around £90m. By April 2014, up to 56,000 people will have the right to ask for a PHB.

The spending of the budget will be reviewed regularly every 3-12 months.

Care and support minister Norman Lamb, said: “Independent analysis has now shown that personal health budgets can put people back in control of their care and make a significant difference to their quality of life.

“The evaluation shows that those with the greatest needs benefit most from personal health budgets. That’s why we are giving people on NHS continuing healthcare the chance to get one first.”

Simon Lawton-Smith, head of policy at the Mental Health Foundation, welcomed the roll-out and said: “It’s worth noting that budget-holders appear to secure more of their services from outside conventional NHS providers than the control group. New Clinical Commissioning Groups must recognise this and build it into their commissioning plans for 2013-14 and future years, as personal health budgets become more widely used.”

But Dr Peter Carter, chief executive & general secretary of the RCN warned: “While we are not opposed to people being given a choice in how their care is provided and by who, we still believe that there may be unintended consequences caused by the extension of the use of Personal Health Budgets.”

The RCP concerns include pressure on patients to ‘top-up’ their care and the potential to exacerbate inequalities and place vulnerable people at risk.

Dr Carter concluded: “The priority for the NHS should be to provide the care that is needed to all its patients, and the move to Personal Health Budgets could prove a costly distraction from that important aim.” 

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News


Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

13/06/2019Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

Nurses have been named as the most under-appreciated public sector professi... more >
Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

10/06/2019Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

Peter Skitt, county director and commissioner for Ceredigion Hywel Dda Univ... more >


How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to s... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Mid Yorks Hospitals NHS Trust: Our improvement journey

28/05/2019Mid Yorks Hospitals NHS Trust: Our improvement journey

Chief executive of the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Martin Barkley, writes for NHE to guide us through his trust’s improvement journey. It’s arguably a ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >