Praise for personal health budgets as 180 benefit from scheme in Sandwell and West Birmingham

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Personal health budgets are giving 180 people in Sandwell and West Birmingham more control over the care and support they receive.

A personal health budget is an amount of money to support a patient’s health and wellbeing needs, which is planned and agreed between the patient, or their family, and NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The right to have a personal health budget applies to adults receiving NHS continuing healthcare (NHS-funded long-term health and personal care provided outside hospital) and children in receipt of continuing care.

Lucy* applied for a personal health budget as she and her family were struggling with the normal care package they received from an agency. One of the main problems was the inconsistency of staff which caused Lucy great stress and resulted in challenging behaviour.

Having continuity of regular staff is important for Lucy as she requires two staff 24 hours a day to meet her health needs. The personal health budget has given Lucy choice and control over her own care and has enabled her to choose her own staff with the skills that suit her better. Lucy has now got the care and support she needs to be able to live in her own home.

The team has a leader in place who organises the weekly activity planning. Since obtaining a personal health budget, Lucy goes out each day, with her carers, and is increasing her everyday life skills. Lucy is much happier as she is able to go into the community and experience a full life, and her behaviour is also settling.

The personal health budget has also had a huge impact on Lucy’s family. They are able to go to work without worrying about Lucy’s care needs. Lucy’s mother said: “The personal health budget has not only changed my daughter’s life but has changed mine dramatically, as I am now her mother not her carer.”

Dr Ian Sykes, Chair of NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, said:

“Personal health budgets enable patients to live more independently, take control of their own care and support, and improve their chances of staying out of hospital.

“Since they were launched in 2014, personal health budgets are helping us to improve standards of care and patient experience. Empowering patients to take ownership and accountability for their budget provides real benefits. Patients and their families can choose the type of care they know will make their day-to-day life better, whether that is a particular piece of equipment, or carers coming at the time of day that is most appropriate for their needs.”

"Having seen examples of how holding a budget can transform individuals and their families, I fully support this process."

For more information about personal health budgets visit https://bit.ly/2lWz8FM.

*Due to confidentiality, the patient is referred to as Lucy