Effective from 2 December, Care Minister Caroline Dinenage has changed the law to allow 100,000 more people using wheelchairs or receiving mental health support to get a personal health budget.

All those eligible for an NHS wheelchair or needing aftercare services under section 117 of the "Mental Health Act", will have more control over decisions made about their care and choice of wheelchair.

A personal health budget can be spent on a specially-adapted wheelchair and a choice of personal care assistants who are trained to meet a person’s care needs. It can also be spent on exercise classes to reduce stress and boost health.

Caroline Dinenage announced: “I’ve seen for myself how personal health budgets are giving people a new lease of life, opening up possibilities to let them live their lives full.

“This extension of legal rights will give many more people independence, a say in how they’re cared for, improving their experiences while ensuring value for money for taxpayers.

“This is an important step in our NHS Long Term Plan’s ambition to see personalised care become the norm for thousands more across the country.”

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) consulted on extending the right to a personal health budget. Almost nine out of ten respondents supported the proposals.

The NHS is currently considering extending the legal rights to other groups highlighted in the consultation including people with ongoing mental health needs and those with learning disabilities.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Everyone deserves the right to make decisions about their care, and health and care should be centred around each and every one of us, not a one-size-fits-all approach.

“Our NHS Long Term Plan has personalised care at its core. This important piece of legislation puts the power back in the hands of more people, transforming the well-being and quality of life for thousands while also reducing distressing and avoidable hospital trips.”

Last reviewed 5 November 2019