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Personal health budget peer leader development programme

Posted on:    April 23, 2014

From April 2014, people eligible for NHS continuing healthcare will have the ‘right to ask’ their Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for a personal health budget. From October 2014, they will have the ‘right to have one’.

Whilst this is exciting news for people who want a personal health budget, the research evaluation showed that to ensure people have a better quality of life and better health outcomes, personal health budgets have to be implemented well. Done badly, personal health budgets can have a negative impact on budget holder’s health and wellbeing.

So how do we ensure that personal health budgets work well? Experience has shown that involving people with a personal health budget in their development and implementation is crucial to success. The national personal health budget peer network is evidence of this. The personal health budget peer network has played a key role in shaping personal health budgets alongside the NHS England delivery programme. Dr Alison Austin, who led the personal health budget team throughout the pilot evaluation said,

“The personal health budgets peer network plays a central role in helping us get the policy and delivery of personal health budgets right. Their targeted involvement in our work ensures that what we develop is grounded in real experience. As a group, the network has a wealth of knowledge and experience and they offer real challenge when we need it. They are also essential allies in helping to explain to NHS professionals and others what personal health budgets mean in practice and helping to get people on board”.

As the implementation of personal health budgets gathers pace in readiness for the ‘right to have’ a personal health budget in October 2014, it is vital that budget holders can extend their sphere of influence into the wider NHS regions. Ensuring that involvement by personal health budget holders is coordinated and focused will help with the consistency of message.

About the peer leader programme

NHS England has given peoplehub a grant to develop a peer leadership programme. This programme will enable people with a personal health budget to develop their leadership skills and gain the necessary knowledge to support NHS regional leads. The NHS regional lead role includes the following aspects:

  • To help design and run the Accelerated Development Programme and offer support to Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
  • To work with CCGs to devise regular ongoing learning events in order to share good practice and disseminate learning and information.
  • To help CCGs to work effectively with other regional networks e.g. Healthwatch, Continuing Healthcare Networks, and social care networks.
  • To help CCGs effectively implement and share up-to-date personal health budget information including new NHS England (NHSE) guidance documents.

Personal health budget peer leaders will work alongside NHSE regional leads to share their knowledge and direct experience of personal health budgets and to comment on local developments. Peer leaders will understand that they will be:

  • Taking on a leadership role for which they will receive training from peoplehub.
  •  Chosen to be peer leaders for their suitability, personal qualities and experience.

 Reimbursed by peoplehub for their time and expenses whilst acting in the peer leader role during the grant period.

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