Below is a joint briefing published by TLAP & NHS Confederation on personal budgets and mental health. Here are the key points: 

  • From this month, NHS England expects clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to expand the use of personal health budgets by offering them to people with long-term conditions who could benefit. People who use mental health services will be among those expected to be offered the budgets.
  • Today’s briefing paper highlights innovative examples of where personal budgets are used in mental health, such as in London for those on injecting opioid therapy and those who are repeatedly readmitted to inpatient acute services. Other examples include Devon, Warrington, Brighton and Nottingham.
  • The document identifies people with mental health problems who might benefit from personal budgets, such as people who frequently use crisis services, those who often end up in A&E, people in recovery services, teenagers who are unwell and could be supported at home, and young people moving from children’s to adult services.
  • It provides the latest policy context, an overview of the evidence that supports the introduction for personal health budgets for people who use mental health services, key messages for NHS leaders (based on interviews with 20 senior leaders involved in introducing PHBs) and outlines the of the challenges people face in good implementation.
  • TLAP Director Sam Bennett said: "The pressures on the system demand we think and act differently to drive through the changes needed for a truly person-centred NHS. People with health and care needs can help lead this change, with support, through using personal budgets. Ensuring people who use mental health services experience integrated health and social care through personal budgets is a complex task, but evidence suggests there are clear benefits and improvements to people’s quality of life It's a challenge we should embrace and there is already a wealth of learning we can build on to do this."

  • NHS Confederation director of policy Dr Johnny Marshall, also a practising GP, said: “Personal health budgets are here to stay. The issue is no longer whether to implement them, but how and for whom. As local areas roll out them out, it will be crucial to keep learning from experience and to share evidence about their impact and the best ways to implement them as widely as possible.”