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Evaluation of the Personal Health Budgets pilots

Lead: Julien Forder
University of Kent
 

An important new theme in health care policy is about giving more control to patients regarding how they receive their care. One way to achieve this goal is to allocate a budget to individual patients and give them (more) choice about how this money is spent on their care. These personal health budgets can take a number of forms; some might involve a virtual budget, but potentially the budget could be real money. In any case the idea is that patients should play a much greater part in how this budget is used to secure the care they need. In 2009, the Department of Health invited Primary Care Trusts to become pilot sites for the implementation of personal health budgets. This study will evaluate the piloting of Personal Health Budgets in the NHS. The aims of the study are to:  

  • Explore the process of implementing personal health budgets for the individual, carer and the organisation
  • Investigate the impact of personal health budgets on different groups of service users.
  • Assess the cost-effectiveness of implementing personal health budgets compared to conventional service delivery
  • Assess the impact of implementing personal health budgets on organisations, staff and the wider health and social care system
  • Assess the wider impacts of personal health budgets within the context of the NHS, and NHS values (especially underpinning equity principles).

The study will use a mixed method approach. A randomised controlled trial will compare outcomes between patients with Personal Health Budgets and those receiving health services in the conventional way. A survey of all PCTs participating in the pilot, and a more indepth interview study with a sample of those sites, will be used to explore the processes, impact and consequences of personal health budgets on organisations, health professionals and the wider health and social care system.

The final report will provide a detailed classification of Personal Health Budgets which will allow us to assess which Personal Health Budget designs are most successful in meeting their aims. This information will help in the development of guidance as to how Personal Health Budgets can be set up and how they can be adapted most effectively.


Last updated: 13 August 2013
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