- 29 May 2019
- 2 min read
Over 50,000 given control on how they spend their NHS funding
The Personal Health Budget has been handed over to the control of patients, who can spend the funding on care and equipment that will improve their quality of life.
According to the NHS, patients are now in control of their Personal Health Budget (PHB).
Patients are allowed to use their NHS funding to buy equipment such as wheelchairs, assistance dogs, personal assistants, and tech devices that control lighting, heating and curtains.
According to NHS England statistics, 54,143 people with long term health conditions are currently benefitting from the scheme.
Within 5 years, 200,000 patients will benefit from the PHB.
The vast majority of the funding goes towards assistance with daily tasks, however, a lot of patients are using the funding for technical equipment that helps to greatly improve their quality of life.
The NHS has said that one patient, 'living with a serious lung condition that causes breathing problems, limiting her movement and causes depression linked to physical pain, has invested in an at-home exercise bike which she shares with other people in the area with the same condition, allowing them to exercise safely, manage their condition and be more sociable, to prevent isolation.'
James Sanderson, Director of Personalised Care Group, NHS England added: “A one-size-fits-all health and care system simply cannot meet the increasing complexity of people’s needs and expectations.
“Instead of having their health care ‘done to’ them, people with personal health budgets are an equal and active partner in their own health care and able to make their own decisions."
In the long term, this can save the NHS a lot of money as the money is spent on essential care. The funding isn't new money, so doesn't cost the NHS any extra, either.
All spending requests have to be approved by an NHS supervisor and the funding cannot be used to buy alcohol, tobacco, gambling or clearing debts. This ensures that the funding is being spent appropriately.