In Warrington the local clinical commissioning group (CCG) have explored whether giving people the opportunity to design their own care successfully results in people feeling more control and receiving the care that is right for them.

Partnering with the local hospice, St Rocco’s, Warrington CCG are now offering personal health budgets to people accessing any of the hospice’s services and who are approaching Fast Track Continuing Healthcare eligibility.

This includes people who are accessing inpatient, day centre and hospice at home services. Hospice nurses are responsible for identifying eligible people, informing them about personal health budgets, and working with people and their families on developing personalised support plans and organising care.

To date, over 100 people locally have benefited from having a personal health budget in end of life care.

You can hear more about Warrington’s progress to date in this short film:

Personal health budgets have allowed us to completely personalise the support that people receive… for people in their last days and weeks of life this will be one of their last big decisions and you only have one opportunity to have a good death – Sarah Leach, Personal Health Budget Implementation Manager, Warrington CCG.

Making it a success

Crucial to success in Warrington has been creating a clear process for providing personal health budgets, so that people are able to have their support put in place quickly. The team have updated the template support plan so that no unnecessary questions are asked, and the local policy means that nurses have the authority to approve funding and support requests for personal health budgets on the same day.

Hospice staff have received training from Cheshire Centre for Independent Living, helping them to work with people to identify the health and wellbeing outcomes that they wish to achieve and think creatively about how these outcomes can be met.

Personal health budgets have just been a real benefit to patients and their carers… it’s allowing those conversations to start about what people do want at end of life. It’s introducing services to people, it’s allowing people to take independence at end of life and make choices about what they want –  Tracy Griffin, Community Outreach Coordinator, St Rocco’s Hospice.

Next steps

Since April 2017, everyone referred for Fast Track Continuing Healthcare from the local hospice and district nursing service has been offered their care through a personal health budget.  Warrington are now focussing on setting up a personal health budget process for people leaving acute hospital settings who are able to return home for end of life care.

Since I’ve had a personal health budget my care has improved. .. it makes me feel secure in everything that I’m needing – Brenda, PHB holder.

Links and further information

For more information about personal health budgets in Warrington can be found on the CCG’s website.

In November 2017, Warrington CCG won an HSJ Award in the Compassionate Patient Care category, recognising their work to improve choice in end of life care through personal health budgets.