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Evidence of benefit of personal budgets is outdated, says spending watchdog

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i1316 (Published 03 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1316
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. London

The Department of Health for England should collect better data to understand how personal budgets and direct payments benefit people, the National Audit Office (NAO) has said.

The spending watchdog said that much of the positive evidence for “personalised commissioning” was old or related to subgroups of users and that current monitoring couldn’t fully explain the effect of personal budgets on outcomes.

Another concern was how financially hardpressed local authorities were expected to save money by using personal budgets for adult social care.

“It is not clear whether local authorities will achieve the spending reductions they have forecast without putting user outcomes at risk,” said the NAO in a report on personalised commissioning in adult social care published on 3 March.1

It …

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