NHS to give patients cash to purchase their own healthcare
Billions of pounds of health service and town hall budgets are to be given to the most vulnerable patients to purchase health and social care services in the community, under plans unveiled by the NHS's new head.
The elderly, disabled children and those with serious mental illness or learning disabilities will from next April be offered individual pots of money to spend as they wish on health and social care services such as carers, physiotherapists and psychotherapy sessions.
Simon Stevens, NHS England's chief executive, said that it would help keep people out of hospital and ultimately save money, the Guardianreported.
Some patients' budgets will range from as little as a few hundred pounds, though most are likely to get more than £1,000, with a small number who have very complex needs receiving substantially more than that.
Patients receiving the funds would still get free GP and hospital care. Recipients will not automatically receive cash payments into their bank accounts but will control the budget, which will be provided after a care plan is agreed with their doctors.
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