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100,000 more wheelchair users and mentally ill to be given personal health budgets

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The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has changed the law to allow 100,000 more people using wheelchairs or receiving mental health support to get access to a personal health budget.

From December 2, everyone eligible for an NHS wheelchair or requiring aftercare services under the Mental Health Act will have greater choice and control in managing their own health and care.

A personal health budget could be spent on specially adapted wheelchairs designed to maximise independence, a choice of personal care assistants and exercise classes.

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The government said 70,000 people are already benefiting from personal health budgets, helping people with complex needs stay healthy and independent for longer.

Minister of Care Caroline Dinenage said: “I’ve seen for myself how personal health budgets are giving people a new lease of life, opening up possibilities to let them live their lives fully.

“This extension of legal rights will give many more people independence, a say in how they’re cared for, improving their experiences while ensuring value for money for taxpayers.”

Last year DHSC and NHS England consulted on extending the right to a personal health budget. The consultation revealed strong support, with nearly nine out of 10 respondents supporting the proposals.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said: “Everyone deserves the right to make decisions about their care, and health and care should be centred around each and every one of us, not a one-size-fits-all approach.

“Our NHS Long Term Plan has personalised care at its core. This important piece of legislation puts the power back in the hands of more people, transforming the well-being and quality of life for thousands while also reducing distressing and avoidable hospital trips.”

Tags : Caroline DinenagePersonal health budgetswheelchair users
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke

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