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Rapid PHBs

In 2022, PPL launched our one-off Personal Health Budget solution.  Since then, the idea has caught on, with NHS England highlighting the work of several sites using such solutions. 

We wanted to share some of the experiences that we have had working with NHS Kent & Medway ICB to deliver ‘rapid PHBs’, where a small sum of money is used and can make a huge difference within 24 hours of the referral being made.  Some of the headlines are:

During the 12 months that we have been delivering rapid PHBs in Kent & Medway:

  • There have been 57 referrals, coming from 13 staff. They have mainly been from hospital discharge teams, but a handful have been from mental health (s.117) teams. 
  • The total amount spent has been just over £32,000. Spend was spread across 20 suppliers and included: assistive equipment, personal and household items from Amazon, Argos, Age UK and other retailers, retail vouchers, training, temporary accommodation, and maintenance services (cleaning,  key safes, waste removal).
  • The lowest cost referral was £15 (a product from Amazon) and the highest was £4,173 (waste removal, pest control, cleaning, supply & installation of household goods, and some maintenance).
  • The number of hospital bed days associated with each referral is recorded. The 57 referrals led to at least 303 bed days being saved.  The average was 5 days for each referral, the lowest was 1 day and the highest was 30 days. 
  • The value of saving 303 bed days is estimated at £182,000 which is a return of over five times on the £32,000 spent.
  • Parking the cost and the ‘return on investment’ point, there are 57 people who would say that a rapid PHB has been ‘priceless’.

Whilst some of the spend has been important-but-predictable , it has been wonderful to see creativity being used.  Our favourite anecdotal story is Patricia and Pip*… 

Whilst Patricia was in hospital, her dog Pip was being cared for elsewhere.  Patricia was keen to get home, not least to be reunited with Pip.  The problem was that Patricia’s condition meant that she would not be able to properly care for Pip.    A further complication was that the funding for Pip’s stay was only available whilst Patricia was in hospital.  The solution was a rapid PHB that paid for an adjustable dog food bowl and a retractable poop-a-scoop to be delivered within 24 hours.  Total cost £30.  Patricia could then return home and be reunited with Pip.  Priceless.  Plus a significant saving to the ‘system’ in terms of hospital stay and dog care.

* Patricia and Pip’s names have been changed, but their story is otherwise 100% true!