Can joint personal budgets help bridge the gap between health and social care provision?


This new briefing from the NHS Confederation introduces joint personal budgets for health and social care. It gives the context behind their development, explains how they might work and lists some of the issues that need to be considered before they could be used at scale.

Delivering integrated care is obviously hugely beneficial to the individual, but it’s only possible if excellent relationships exist at a local level and front-line staff have a shared vision for how to work together.

Key points from the 5-page briefing include:

  • From October, it is the Government’s intention to begin a national roll-out of personal health budgets (PHBs)
  • With over 300,000 personal budget holders in social care, NHS organisations should think hard about developing their PHB systems alongside local authority partners
  • A joint system of personal budgets could offer a new model for delivering bottom-up integrated care
  • A ‘dual carriageway’ approach has been developed by some pilot areas as a way of getting the benefits of joint personal budgets with a minimum of disruptive organisational change

The ‘dual-carriageway’ model of joint personal budgets is presented in a clear diagram in the briefing, which helps to show how this approach can start to bridge some of the gaps that currently exist across the health and social care divide.


Joint personal budgets: a new solution to the problem of integrated care? (PDF) NHS Confederation, 11 Oct 2012.

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Andre Tomlin

André Tomlin is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He's worked in the NHS, for Oxford University and since 2002 as Managing Director of Minervation Ltd, a consultancy company who do clever digital stuff for charities, universities and the public sector. Most recently André has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service; an innovative digital platform that helps professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. André is a Trustee at the Centre for Mental Health and an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London Division of Psychiatry. He lives in Bristol, surrounded by dogs, elflings and lots of woodland!

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