Why I changed my mind about Personal Health Budgets – Jonathan Barrow

In the latest of a series of blogs about Personal Health Budgets (PHBs), Jonathan Barrow explains why he went from campaigning against them to becoming a staunch advocate:

When I first heard about personal health budgets I wasn’t immediately sold on the idea.

In Basildon, PHBs have become an option for people who use mental health services. I knew that my clinical commissioning group (CCG) was looking to offer mental health services differently, but that means change, and change means potentially taking things away.

My instinct as a union man is to suspiciously think: ‘So what are you getting rid of’?

I know that personal health budgets aren’t additional money – to offer someone a budget you need to move money from somewhere else in the system. It’s not a new pot of cash to allow people to treat themselves.

To me that sounded like cutting services and perhaps that would benefit some people but surely other would lose out. I wasn’t keen.

It’s been quite a journey but I’ve really come round to the idea of personal health budgets.

Read more of Jonathan Barrow’s blog on the Personal Health Budgets section of our website.





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