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Tackling the barriers to choice – NHS England NE&Y

Working in partnership with NHS England and the North East and Yorkshire Personalisation Team to unlock more capacity and choice.


Personalised approaches in health such as Personal Health Budgets (PHB) have the potential to create capacity and give people more choice and control as a result. But in some areas there is a limited choice of community-led personalised care and support and services for people with health and related care needs.

Direct Payment PHBs are often seen as a way for people to employ their own staff – Personal Assistants employed directly for the person who needs help. This approach can transform the lives of some people but for others, becoming an employer isn’t practical or desirable. Other times, people opt for a notional PHB, where support services are purchased from a care provider organisation – but in practice the range of options can be limited.

Health leads in the North East and Yorkshire Region have highlighted a need for support to enable the range of options for people with a PHB to choose from. But it is recognised there are two main barriers. Firstly ‘market’ challenges – ensuring public money can be used by people in creative ways that meet their health and care needs and life aspirations. Secondly ‘marketplace’ challenges – ensuring there are a wide range of creative services and supports available for people to buy.


In response to all this, Community Catalysts have been commissioned by NHS England North East and Yorkshire Region to help local health leads to explore these issues, to develop and test new creative and diverse care and support options that could be replicated elsewhere.

We want to bring our expertise and energy to strong partnerships with local leads and stakeholders. We aim to ensure that coproduction is an underpinning essential.

Work is currently underway to identify local project partners, and plans and practical work will begin soon after.