NHS boss says those with vulnerabilities need joint health and care budget
Patients with vulnerabilities should be offered their own personal health and care budgets says NHS England boss.
Simon Stevens wants to see older people, those with disabilities and people with serious mental health problems given joint pots from the NHS and council-run social care services, reports the BBC.
This idea gives patients a nominal budget which they can decide to spend on whatever care and serves they wish. This is part of a drive to give patients more power. GP and emergency care is not included and they can use these the same as anyone else.
In a speech to the Local Government Association’s annual conference in Bournemouth later, Mr Stevens said: “Patients, service users and carers have the biggest interest in getting things right, but they can only do so if we give them real power to shape their own care. We need to stop treating people as a collection of health problems or treatments. We need to treat them as individuals whose needs and preferences should be seen in the round and whose choices shape services, not the other way round. That’s the big offer the NHS increasingly has to make to our fellow citizens, to local authorities, and to voluntary organisations.”
Caroline Abrahams, of Age UK, welcomed the move towards more personalisation, but said the budgets needed to be carefully designed so they were not “confusing”.
Councillor Katie Hall, of the Local Government Association, said: “It is good that the NHS has recognised the benefits of this local government model and we are very keen to work with the NHS on developing practical ways to make care more personalised.”
But she said the plans would not do anything to “resolve the funding crisis”.
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