Summary - There is growing evidence that personal budgets can be an effective, valued and value for money mechanism to improve the quality of life of people with long term conditions, and their experience of care and support services. They give people greater choice and control over the support they access, ensuring that it is shaped around their lives and goals. People who have used a personal budget to access support report improved experiences and wellbeing.
Despite this evidence, some commentators have expressed concerns about the use of personal budgets within the NHS. Recent coverage has suggested that the support accessed through personal budgets can be inappropriate, dismissing them as allowing people to purchase ‘luxuries’. This has raised questions about the impact on existing statutory services given limited resources, and whether they are fully compatible with a universal National Health Service. It is feared that this could threaten the sustainability of existing services if funding follows budget holders who choose alternative support.
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