Launch of direct payments for healthcare consultation

One way of managing a personal health budget is a direct payment for healthcare, where money is given directly to an individual for the management of their NHS care. They are currently only lawful within pilot sites. The Government’s intention is to roll out personal health budgets more widely, including extending the use of direct  payments, by updating the regulations so that they can be offered  across the country. A new public consultation is consulting on the  details of the changes. This is an opportunity to have your say – so please visit the Department of Health’s online consultation pages  and let us know your views.

The consultation proposes some changes to the regulations based on learning from the recent pilot programme and discussions with personal health budget holders, healthcare professionals and other organisations. It discusses what what will be excluded, for example acute and planned care and access to GP services. It also asks for views on issues including eligibility, paying family members for carrying out administrative functions, allowing local authorities to make direct payments for healthcare and separate bank accounts.

An impact assessment and easy read version of the consultation will also be published online. The consultation is open for anyone to respond, from individuals to organisations. The closing date is 26 April.

For more information about personal health budgets visit the Department of Health website.