Gloucestershire Personal Health Budget Pilot – Post 2

I had a visit last week from the NHS regarding the PHB pilot, it was really just a baseline assessment, they will come back again in six months to see if anything has changed, hopefully this means I will be getting my budget soon.

The man from the NHS filled out a pretty standard research form (which is anonymous), very similar to ones I’ve been asked to fill out before.  Questions are asked and you are given a scale of answers, this can be how much you agree with a statement or what your opinion on a statement is.  At the end a couple of general questions are asked, such as what you intend to use the budget for, you can also ask questions about the pilot.

As I said above the questions asked are fairly standard, they are aimed to get an idea of your current psychological state and physical health, also general questions are asked at the end like ethnicity, sexuality and religion to categorize you.  I’m not sure how useful the questions actually are as many of them are really relative to your medical condition, for example I consider myself in fairly good health, but somebody else who is pretty much confined to bed and needs to use a ventilator for most of the day may say that’s poor health.  I also found some of the questions to actually be unhelpful as they group things together that medical professional’s see as intimately related but actually aren’t, anxiety and depression are grouped together, now I have panic attacks in certain situations so I would say my anxiety levels are high, but I am definitely not depressed, of course I’m not ecstatic about my condition and life but that does not mean I’m depressed or suicidal.

Overall it’s probably the only way the NHS can check for changes as it has to fit all cases, but I wouldn’t use these questions as a base for statistical analysis and I’m sure most businesses wouldn’t either.

Perhaps there needs to be a new type of questionnaire developed with consultation from doctors, nurses, HCA’s, private industry, scientists and patients.

These points about questionnaires aren’t specifically aimed at the PHB pilot but the way the NHS handles all questionnaires in general.

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