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The piloting of Personal Health Budgets in England

06 October 2009
This briefing provides a short introduction to the possible role of personal health budgets within health care. The Department of Health in England is planning to begin a pilot programme on personal health budgets in early 2010. This follows on from the NHS Next Stage Review which pledged to pilot personal health budgets in selected areas as a way of giving patients greater control over the services they receive. The briefing, prepared jointly by the RCN's Employment Relations Department and the Policy Unit, is intended to provide an overview of the implications for this system of healthcare funding, outline the timetable for the pilot programme and summarise the current RCN position on personal health budgets.
The College believes it is critical that patients have access to reliable information for them to make informed choices about how to spend their personalized budgets. For the older person with deteriorating health causing their needs to fluctuate, control of their individual budgets may not be possible without sufficient support from family, carers or advocates, and reassessment not available.  

If you have any comments or wish to contribute further, please email policy.international@rcn.org.uk