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Uncertain progress on personal health budgets

The use of personal health budgets within the NHS has been dogged by problems since they were introduced in a number of pilot areas last year, a report has found.

Giving some patients and service users individual budgets is believed to improve their experience of care and the scheme is being piloted at 70 sites in England. But an evaluation of 20 of these sites, carried out by Kent University for the Department of Health,uncovered concerns about budget setting, care planning and accountability. Factors which facilitated implementation included  the involvement of the finance department, the engagement of NHS leaders, clinicians and middle managers, the report noted.  The report, published in July, concluded that it was too early to draw any significant conclusions about personal budgets. Early experiences of implementing personal health budgets Personal Social Services Research Unit, University of Kent, for Department of Health.

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