Personal health budgets: how can healthcare professionals empower patients?

The personalisation agenda is at the centre of modern healthcare delivery, but healthcare staff need to ensure it is being undertaken effectively.

Since October 2014, people who are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC), as well as young people and children eligible for continuing care, have had the right to have a personal health budget.

Personal Health Budgets enable patients to manage their own budgets, employ their own staff, build their own support systems from family and friends, volunteers and traditional care providers, and develop a health and wellbeing care plan with the support of healthcare professionals and that of the clinical commissioning groups which is meaningful and bespoke to them.

The Forward View into action: planning for 2015/16, published in December 2014, called for a major expansion in giving patients more direct control over their own health care and in the offer and delivery of personal health budgets where evidence indicates they could benefit.

It is clear that the personalisation agenda is at the centre of modern healthcare delivery but how do we ensure it is being undertaken effectively?

Jane Towler, commissioner for Continuing Healthcare, north Somerset clinical commissioning group says: “Commissioning in personal health budgets opens the door for us to loosen our paternalistic approach to providing services and open up the platform for individuals to be in the driving seat as the creators and shapers of the services they want to receive and benefit from, to become responsible participants not just receivers of services provided.”

But, what is being done to ensure the right support is given to patients with personal health budgets? Do you have the skills to undertake care planning and outcome goal setting in personal health budgets? The National Skills Academy for Health has partnered with Partner2Care and Skills for Health to develop a short video highlighting key considerations for healthcare professionals supporting patients with personal health budgets.

For more information or to develop your knowledge further with our personal health budgets elearning programme, visit personal health budgets.

This content is produced and paid for by Skills for Health, sponsor of the Guardian Healthcare Professionals Network’s workforce development hub

Alliance Homes Group to set up new training care 'Academy'

In a bid to attract and promote a career as a carer, Alliance Homes has teamed up with Weston College and North Somerset Council to develop the Care Academy. 

The move comes a year after the social housing provider launched its care business – Alliance Living Care, which currently provides around 1,300 hours of care per week across North Somerset. 

The Academy is due to launch at the end of September and will provide a 3 week training programme at the end of which participants can gain a recognised care qualification. Successful completion of the course, guarantees an interview with Alliance Living Care and a pathway to a career as a carer. Taking up a job offer will mean competitive pay with guaranteed hours along with professional development for those who want to progress within the sector. 

Steve Chinn, Managing Director, Alliance Living said that the decision to set up the Academy was in response to a general shortage of carers and a desire to help people into employment. 

“We hope that the Academy will help us to attract much needed staff to join the existing team of 75. We plan to promote it initially through local job centres and westonworks and are working on plans to ensure that all target groups are aware of the opportunities. We currently employ carers from all walks of life and our campaign will centre on this. 

We recognise that there are a number of barriers that prevent people becoming a career and by providing the right training, a supportive environment and competitive pay we are hoping to attract the right people.” 

To find out more about joining the Care Academy call 03000 121 447.

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