Health Bill to give control of care budget to patients

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The Government has set out plans to hand some patients control of their own healthcare budgets.

The new Health Bill will enable patients to receive direct payments to spend on health services of their choice.

Lord Darzi, who will unveil the plans, first trailed the idea last year. It is thought the payments would particularly benefit people with long-term conditions like Parkinson's or motor neurone disease, or those who use mental health services.

The Department of Health said pilot schemes would "follow clear guidelines to safeguard the principles of the NHS". The Bill will also place a legal duty on the NHS and its providers to take note of the NHS Constitution, which sets out the "rights and responsibilities" of patients and staff.

Other contents include previously announced measures to protect children and young people from the harm caused by smoking and reforming pharmacy services so they work on the basis of local needs.