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Briefings to help services prepare for SEND personal budgets

News and comment

Together for Short Lives has published a series of briefings prepared by the charity In Control to help voluntary sector providers of children’s palliative care in England – including children’s hospices – get ready for the introduction of personal budgets.

We have produced the resource as part of our two-year Department for Education-funded project to engage children’s palliative care in the special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms. From September 2014, children and young people with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans will have a right to a personal budget. Where they want them, families will be able to use their personal budget – comprised of money allocated to them by the NHS and local authorities – to pay for many of the education, health and care services which their child needs.

  1. Briefing one provides an introduction to personal budgets and describes how they have worked already in other settings, such as adult social care
  2. Briefing two describes how personal budgets will work for families of children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions
  3. Briefing three advises children’s palliative care services on the action they need to take to prepare for personal budgets being implemented.

All three briefings include real-life case studies and links to other resources and best practice examples.

These briefings will help to prepare services like ours as more young people and families receive their own personal budgets and seek not only to purchase services, but ask for guidance. While the new budgets present a great opportunity for families to exert more choice and control over their lives, they will challenge the way in which voluntary sector care providers operate - not least in the way we ask for and receive statutory funding. However, one of the strengths of the children’s palliative care sector is our longstanding ability to provide care which is centred on the needs and wishes of children and their families. These briefings will help providers to draw on this heritage and offer greater choice and control to families as personal budgets become a reality

Peter Ellis, Chief Executive of Richard House Children’s Hospice

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