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Care minister Norman Lamb has said he would like to see mental health patients being given personal budgets to pay for care.

Posted on:    September 20, 2013

Speaking at the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference in Glasgow, Mr Lamb said: “I would like to move to a ‘right to have’ in relation to a personal budget and to extend it to mental health; giving individuals control over their health.

“You hear stories of how people used to go in and out of hospital and care constantly falling down.

“When they take control their wellbeing improves and they can stop the revolving door and improve their whole experience.”

“We should be investing in preventing deterioration of health; moving from a totally paternalistic system to one that puts people in charge.”

Personal health budgets have been piloted across a number of areas and from April 2014 anyone receiving continuing healthcare from the NHS will have the right to ask for a personal budget.

They are aimed at giving people with long term conditions or disabilities greater choice and control over their healthcare.

Mr Lamb also described the practice of not paying home care staff for the time they spend travelling to patients’ homes as “exploitation”.

He said: “Carers travelling between patients and not receiving any pay; that for me is not acceptable. You can’t deliver high quality care on the back of exploitation.”

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