Jon Glasby was one of the panel members on a phone-in for Radio 4’s Moneybox programme exploring proposals to pilot personal health budgets in maternity services.

This builds on longstanding work by the University’s Health Services Management Centre around the impact of direct payments and personal budgets in social care and their spread to other sectors.  This includes key policy advice around the development of personal health budgets to Downing Street, the Department of Health and the Cabinet Office, with HSMC’s advice and interest in these issues pre-dating national policy focus by a number of years.

At their most simple, Jon argued that personal budgets are about helping decisions that really matter to people be taken as close as possible to the person they affect – ideally by the person they affect.  In this way, they might be seen as nothing more than ‘sensible delegation’.

Maternity seems a really exciting for new pilots, giving new mothers greater choice and control over their ante-natal care, birth and post-natal support.  This is a key recommendation in the government’s recent review of maternity services, and builds on a previous project evaluated as part of the government’s personal health budget pilots.

For further details, see Jon’s blog on personal health budgets and the opposition they sometimes attract.