Care services minister Norman Lamb has announced plans to extend personal budgets to 56,000 people that receive health and social care support from the NHS.
Under the move, all users of the NHS “continuing care” service will be allowed to control their own health and care budget by April 2014.
The “continuing care” system is for individuals with complex medical conditions who need medical and social care outside of hospital. Unlike other social care users, their care is funded entirely by the NHS rather than local government.
The Department of Health will invest £1.5m in extending personal budgets, and estimates that if half of the eligible people chose to take one, it could save about £90m.
In a statement Mr Lamb (Lib Dem) said: “Independent analysis has now shown that personal health budgets can put people back in control of their care and make a significant difference to their quality of life.”