Personal Health Budgets

Putting personalisation into practice

The government has confirmed its commitment to the roll out of Personal Health Budgets. This follows completion of the three year pilot programme which has recently been independently evaluated.

The rollout will initially target those who are currently getting NHS Continuing Healthcare. By April 2014 up to 56,000 people on the NHS Continuing Healthcare scheme will have the right to ask for a personal health budget. The government also hopes that clinical commissioning groups will offer a personal health budget to more people with a long term condition who may benefit.

Hempsons has been leading the way in advising on the legal issues surrounding personalisation in the health and social care sector, including Personal Health Budgets. For example:

  • we worked with six of the pilot sites to develop direct payment mechanisms;
  • we delivered a Master Class for the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) and seminars  for Capita and Lexis Nexis on the legal aspects of personalisation;
  • we co-produced with ACEVO one of the first guides in this area; and
  • our work on personalisation was recognised by the judges in awarding us Health Investor Law Firm of the Year 2010.

We worked with (now abolished) Primary Care Trusts on the pilot programme to help them implement Personal Health Budgets. This included advising on:

  • Contracts between commissioners and individuals
  • Partnership arrangements (where applicable) between the PCT and the Local Authority under section 75 of the NHS   Act 2006, where the PCT delegates the making of direct payments for healthcare to a Local Authority
  • Independent User Trusts agreements (IUTs) under which patients receive funds from the PCT which are managed by   an IUT for the purchase of their care support
  • Banking arrangements between the PCT and the relevant banking institution for the creation, use and management of   patients’ direct payment accounts.
  • Governance, top-up and direct payment issues in light of the Court decisions of Gunter and Harrison and Garnham.

The combination of our experience of advising on a range of continuing healthcare issues and expertise in relation to mental health care management and capacity issues informs our advice in this area and will be essential for CCGs now they are responsible for NHS commissioning.

Please contact Jamie Foster or Nadya Wolferstan to discuss how we can help you put personalisation into practice.