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Personal health budgets under fire

The NHS Confederation has criticised unsubstantiated “fervour” for personal health budgets.

Personal budgets are already being used for some social care recipients and health budgets are being trialled in some primary care trusts. Although the confederation’s report today says the budgets can help personalise healthcare, it says NHS managers are concerned the risks could outweigh the benefits.

Shaping Personal Health Budgets - a view from the top found many NHS leaders were “uneasy with the fervour of some proponents” who, it said, could make claims beyond the supporting evidence.

NHS managers interviewed by the confederation’s researchers said frank discussion of patient safety and cost risks associated with personal budgets was hindered by the “evangelism” of enthusiasts and that most NHS leaders were uncertain of any impact of mini budgets.

The budgets are intended to encourage providers to be more responsive to patient preferences as patients can avoid poor providers. But managers are concerned this will lead to double running costs as patients will move only gradually, requiring the NHS to cover the fixed costs of an unpopular service as well as the personal budgets of the patients.

NHS Confederation deputy policy director Jo Webber said: “It is important to be able to make the case that personal budgets do not need to form a drain on resources.”

Readers' comments (4)

  • Paul Tovey

    Does it surprise anyone that the NHS Confed throws up some preservative gloopy glue around "Patient Budgets" and perhaps wants to stick to the same old airfix kit that helps to construct its very unfair-craft carriers ?

    Ahhhhh big is so beautiful - to itself of course..

    "Mirror mirror on the wall - isn't it good there's just one ball for all ... "

    "No" said the Ugly Tovey Dog ...

    Personalised Budgets might have seen lots of people with Personality Disorder spectrum problems be able to purchase in some managment-therapy over a long time - as it is a lot are walking cases of delayed suicide..And the IAPT dos not cater for them ... Oh dear excluded again ...

    The nitty gritty though is "Patient Choice" set against the sheer arrogance of the DOH and NHS monopoly as opposed to a good solid relationships with GP's and a supported culture there of patient purchasing power - where GP's become, with their patients - a new culture of trying out innovations supported by budgets and the acid test of effectiveness becomes the GP's and patient's measuring their own satisfactions ..
    As an ugly Dog in a parallel health dimension though, I notice there are too many bloody trainers about with Pavlovian bells and trinkets and stiffycates here and there to prove they can practice Soviet Sciences on british people with a penchant for a truer human individualism...


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  • Paul, I totally get what you saying here but don't make GP's out to be Angels.
    They are only ever interested in what's in it for them. Perhaps a cynicaly thing to say but they are one of the big problems within the NHS (or not in the NHS as they are private businesses).
    Too many times I have seen things that would greatly benefit patients but for GP's not to be interested as there's no money in it for them!

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  • Paul Tovey

    I expect GP's to be medicine businessmen really with the market knowledge that local people have a choice of services and goods that they exercise until it comes to the NHS and the absolute dictatorship of : "We always know best"

    Yeahhh - of course they do .....I even spring up my arm like an ardent broomstick when I go to hospital and shout .... "Heil A and E " ..

    I am well mind-trained .. probably by CBT..

    One of my prime nags is about Mental Health :

    Piloting patient choice in mental health using budgets for choices of therapies and creating patient-tested local market supply has not even been an option for GP's many of whom are just human beings that also while wanting to make a quid - want to do well by patients lives ...

    I just cannot write off GP's as selfish particularly because we all need to throw that stone backwards before chucking it at them ....

    Mind you as a poor dog like man I am past bouldering now .. Even my paws limp .....So in fact I may be morally better now than most of you hanging around the health pounds


    Trust me before I became a dog

    (NB John Reid July 2003 speech)

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  • Paul Tovey

    Tovey Dog Health Blues :

    Once I was a Patient Voice
    Then I almost had a
    Patient Choice

    Along came a Gov't ruling cog
    Rolling in dat ol' heavy fog

    And under my feet it all went sog

    Now trust me Labour

    I am a dog ....


    (sing ) Gimme the rovey-tovey blues

    and cry

    I am a HSJ worn-out-sigh

    (accompanied by harmonica and bongo)


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