Initiating personal budgets will cost £93,280 in management fees per PCT for administration cost alone, according to an evaluation published by the Department of Health.
The estimated costs do not include any money spent by patients, and could rocket to £146,040 per PCT, as two-thirds of pilot sites said that a management team would need to be funded for at least two years to ‘ensure successful implementation’.
Personal health budgets are designed to give patients with long term conditions such as COPD, diabetes and mental illnesses real cash to spend in whichever way they decide is beneficial to their health.
The government confirmed in May that the scheme ‘was here to stay’, after reports that the slow uptake at pilot sites raised doubts about its feasibility.
The report also found that there was little difference on the average set up cost of those sites focusing on patients with two conditions, at £160,240, and those with 3 or more conditions, at £135,810.
Paul Burstow, care services minister said: ‘The outcome of the listening exercise clearly indicates support for personal health budgets.’
‘The pilot programme is progressing well, over 2,000 people have been recruited into the evaluation and stories are already emerging of the impact personal health budgets have had on people’s lives and health.’
‘The evaluation will look at how their health needs are being met in ways that work for them. Personal health budgets aim to reduce unplanned appointments or hospital admissions, which is better for the individual, their families and the system.’