Personal Health Budgets in Northamptonshire

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A personal health budget is money, planned and agreed between a person and their health team, to support what the person needs for their health and wellbeing. In 2012 Personal Health Budgets were extended across England. This followed a three year pilot programme. Northamptonshire was one of the places where personal health budgets were first tested. During the early stages, people often took part in the design and delivery of the service. A Personal Health Budget peer network was formed and People Hub (a national Personal Health Budget Peer Network) were commissioned to support the development of the Northamptonshire Network.

The members of the peer network were keen to be part of making sure Personal Health Budgets became an option for everyone. The commissioners used the opportunity to co-produce their local approach to Personal Health Budgets with the network.

After agreement from the Clinical Commissioning Group, commissioners and members of the peer network worked together to develop a specification for a Support Planning and Brokerage Service. Some volunteers from the peer network helped to organise and run an event to help organisations understand the experience, knowledge and skills required to provide the services that people with Personal Health Budgets would need. The peer network also helped to evaluate and score the applications of providers who applied to run the service. They are currently working with the commissioners to evaluate the quality of the service the providers are delivering and to monitor the contract.

"This is ensuring that everyone who wants a Personal Health Budget has the opportunity to develop a personal plan that is really individual and supports them to live their life to the fullest that they can and achieve their personal health and wellbeing goals".
Gill Ruecroft, Commissioning Manager.