2014 Conference Presentation
The presentation will explore the opportunities and challenges of implementing personal health budgets within the national pilot programme. The evaluation team carried out 63 qualitative interviews with organisational representatives working within one of the in-depth pilot sites to explore early implementation experiences of personal health budgets.
Overall, the majority of organisational representatives were enthusiastic about personal health budgets as a mechanism to help individuals to purchase personalised support to achieve their health and well-being needs. However, a number of concerns and implementation challenges were raised around managing the inevitable cultural change, such as handling perceived risk and the impact on staff workload.
The expressed challenges varied between pilot sites, which would have guided (to some extent) the way that personal health budgets were initially implemented. The in-depth interviews allowed the research team to develop five implementation models varying according to: whether the budget was known before support planning; what flexibility there was in terms of the help that could be purchased; and the choice of deployment (including direct payment). Nineteen of the 20 in-depth pilot sites were classified within one of the models. The impact that the implementation models had on outcomes, costs and cost-effectiveness will be explored in subsequent presentations within the organised session.
Overall, the initial findings provide valuable information into the opportunities and potential challenges that the new Clinical Commissioning Groups could encounter during the roll-out of personal health budgets from 2014 onwards.