2014 Conference Presentation
The evaluation explored the operation, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of personal health budgets compared to conventional service delivery within a national pilot programme. During the evaluation, only tentative assumptions could be made as to the affordability of personal health budgets and the continued impact of the initiative for both the NHS system and patients after the pilot programme. Preliminary analyses suggested that the use of personal health budgets was associated with a higher level of expenditure going to ‘non-conventional’ service providers (for example, a greater use of non-NHS providers). However, only provisional assumptions could be made as to the continued purchasing of non-conventional services following the pilot programme and evaluation.
The Department of Health have commissioned a study to explore the affordability of personal health budgets within the system, and the scale of personalisation following the national pilot programme. This new study is an extension to the national evaluation and aims to address a number of issues raised in the Audit Commission report (2012) Making personal health budgets sustainable. The study commenced in April 2014 and will finish in March 2016.
There are four main aims to the study: 1. To explore the degree to which commissioners have worked with providers to move away from block contracts, set unit costs for services and adapt services to meet personalised demands. 2. To explore the degree to which integration exists between personal health budgets and personal budgets in social care in terms of: assessment, commissioning and service delivery. 3. To explore the degree to which there have been changes in commissioning patterns within personal health budgets. 4. To explore whether personal health budgets continue to have an impact on patients’ quality of life, service experience and secondary care service use compared to conventional service delivery since the national pilot programme.