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Report: Individual budgets can improve care

22nd October 2008

Individual budgets can provide people with more flexibility, control and choice regarding their personal care, according to a pilot scheme evaluation report which is being launched today by Care Services minister Phil Hope.

The Department of Health notes the report was undertaken by a combined team of five university research units and found that such budgets had particular benefits for mental health service users and younger disabled people.

According to the resource, it was noted that while there was no significant difference in the overall cost of the service, there were indications that such budgets have the potential to offer improved value for money.

“Individual budgets give people who have care needs the power to decide the nature of their own support and the report showed that most groups liked this.

“People can choose to use the money to fund the care that suits them best and fits in with their lifestyle,” the department notes.

The report also found older people did not find the individual budget system used during the pilot stage as easy to use as other groups, noting they did not appear to like the notion of managing their own support.

In other news, the department recently published a report by the National Infarct Angioplasty Project which suggested primary angioplasty is set to become the country’s “first line of treatment” for heart attacks.

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