Assurances are sought that policy of personal health budgets will follow evidence

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 06 October 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6458
  1. Caroline White
  1. 1London

The Department of Health has denied that the government intends to press ahead with personal health budgets in England irrespective of what the final evaluation of the pilot sites—due in October 2012—concludes.

The denial follows health secretary Andrew Lansley’s announcement on 4 October at the Conservative Party conference that people in receipt of NHS continuing healthcare would be the first to have the right to ask for a personal health budget by April 2014.

Around 53 000 people in England receive NHS continuing healthcare—ongoing care outside hospital for complex health and care needs—at any one time, at a cost to the NHS of £2bn (€2.3bn; $3bn) a year.

Mr Lansley said that personal health budgets, which enable holders to purchase services of their choosing directly or through a third party …

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