Doctors are unaware of “fantastic opportunities” offered by personal health budgets, says health department

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 28 January 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f560
  1. Caroline White
  1. 1London

Personal health budgets have the potential to transform the care of patients in England, but few doctors or patients know much about them or are prepared for the “huge” cultural shift that is needed to implement them, experts at the Department of Health have claimed.

Some 56 000 people who are getting NHS continuing healthcare will be eligible for a personal health budget—an agreed sum of money given individually to patients to help them design a package of care and choose the provider—from April 2014. And the government hopes that clinical commissioning groups will also offer them to people with long term conditions.

But delegates to a conference on the topic, organised by the Westminster Health Forum in London on 24 January, heard that substantial challenges to implementation remain. …

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