Care services minister Phil Hope has announced consultations with primary care trusts to consider schemes for direct payment personal health budgets.

The aim is to give people more choice and control over how money is spent on their care.

Currently, personal health budgets can be either notional budgets held by a commissioner, or they can be managed on an individual’s behalf by a third party. Under the new proposals, cash payments could be made to an individual and managed by them.

Talks are now under way to determine how to evaluate direct payment pilots, and how such payments might be made.

The power to make direct payments is in the Health Bill now before Parliament, and is expected to receive Royal ascent next month.

Mr Hope said: “There are some really inspiring stories already from people whose lives have been transformed by personal budgets - they get more choice and control over their own care.

“By making direct payments available in healthcare I know many more people will feel the benefits. We want to make sure we get this right and I want everyone to have their say to make sure we do.”