Health and care charities argue that the use of personal budgets in health care reaffirms NHS values

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National voices, TLAP and other health and care charities, have published a paper which argues that the use of personal budgets in health care supports the values of the NHS.

Personal Budgets as an integral form of NHS care: A discussion paper, by National Voices, Shared Lives Plus, In Control and TLAP, asserts that personal budgets in health offer a more targeted form of support that is available free at the point of use, according to need, and via public funds.

There is growing evidence that personal budgets can be effective tools to improve the quality of life of people with long term conditions, and their experience of care and support services. Personal budgets can be used in health to give people with long term conditions greater choice and control over the support they access, ensuring that it is shaped around their lives and goals. People who have used a personal budget to access support report improved experiences and wellbeing.

The paper argues that the benefits of personal budgets on the lives and wellbeing of people with long term conditions affirms their wider use across health and care. The paper consolidates the view the idea that personal budgets can be implemented in a way that promotes community ties, rather than individualism and privatisation of health and social care. Most importantly, they have the potential to improve experience and outcomes for individuals, promoting equity of access to support that can change lives.

Jeremy Taylor, Chief Executive of National Voices said: "Assuming all patients with a particular condition have the same goals and needs is a mistake. Personal budgets offer 'more bang for your buck' by enabling people and their families to work alongside clinicians to identify what will be most effective in helping them to manage their condition and live well."

Lynda Tarpey, Director of Think Local Act Personal said: "Personal budgets have been used in social care for a number of years. This experience demonstrates, that personal budgets can give back to people who use these services the choice and control in their lives and care which is fundamental to wellbeing. The pressures on the NHS demand that we think differently and we believe that personal budgets underpinned by effective, person centred, care and support planning are therefore part of the solution. Think Local Act Personal continues to support partners, individuals and carers to make this new stage of personalisation a success in the NHS".