Northern, Eastern and Western (NEW) Devon

To date, over 200 people have benefited from a personal health budgets across Northern, Eastern and Western (NEW) Devon, including people at the end of their life.

Working with the local council, the project team at the clinical commissioning group (CCG) have focussed on providing Fast Track (Continuing Healthcare) personal health budgets more quickly. This has included keeping care packages that had previously been funded privately or by social care, in order to ensure continuity of care.

How a personal health budget helped a terminally ill patient

A gentleman with a terminal illness in receipt of direct payments from social care was found eligible for Fast Track Continuing Healthcare funding. In order to ensure his existing staff were able to continue supporting him, a direct payment managed account was set up so he could continue to employ the same personal assistants. This package was much more cost effective than the commissioned service, and offered the gentleman and his family better continuity of care.

NEW Devon have set up a joint holding account for personal health budgets, enabling direct payments to be made within a day rather than on a monthly basis.  The team have updated the standardised care plan to include all the support that someone receives, whether it is funded through a personal health budget or traditionally commissioned services. This is helping to support more effective transfer from traditionally commissioned services to a personal health budget, and promotes a more holistic approach to care planning.

I have now called my team, the Dream Team, because there are all so wonderful… I am just getting over a bad chest infection and I am halfway through a course of antibiotics. Previously I would have ended up in hospital, but the use of the cough assist machine and my very caring personal assistants (means) we have managed to fight our way through – Personal health budget holder.

Following a review of the personal health budget process, conducted with a range of local people, steps have been taken to improve the local personal health budget policy, which now includes clear expectations around Fast Track personal health budgets, and new arrangements with voluntary sector organisations to support the management of personal health budgets after death.

Training has been delivered to hospital discharge teams, hospices and community end of life teams, to raise awareness about personal health budgets and proactively identify people who may benefit from more choice and control through a personal health budget.

The personal health budget has removed a huge worry of how to finance ongoing medical care…the budget has allowed me to plan Dad’s care more effectively.  As a result since the personal health budget has been in place there has been no necessity for hospital admission – Family member.

For more information about personal health budgets in NEW Devon, please visit the CCG’s website.

Watch this video about personal health budgets and the support they offer

A local hospice, St Luke’s, have produced a film explaining what personal health budgets are and the support they provide: