Mason had been an inpatient for 18 months, and wanted to make sure his discharge was successful. His support team and family worked together to identify what he felt he needed. This led to a personal health budget that meant his new plan could start which he was still on the ward, and help him transition into to a more independent life. He has now successfully lived at home for a year.

Mason, from Greater Manchester, had received 18 months’ therapy as a mental health inpatient. He and his family really wanted him to be discharged, but they were very worried about this possibly placing him at risk. As he was leaving a long-term detained inpatient bed, he was eligible for a section 117 package of care.

When he was discharged, the services typically offered to him would have been psychology, including a referral for a community assessment and a psychology course. This standard, traditional offer could not meet his needs and placed him at significant risk of relapse. This in turn put at risk his investment in getting better, along with the CCG’s investment in enabling him to access services to get better.  He and his family were very worried about him leaving hospital and, whilst wanting this, they did not want him to be placed at risk. He needed his support to start in his inpatient environment, include a plan for his discharge and seamlessly transfer him to and support him in his home.

Together with the multi-disciplinary team (MDT), his care co-ordinator and his family, he developed his unique section 117 personal health budget package, with two elements:

  • Weekly psychological support from an independent practitioner of his choice
  • Occupational Therapy to provide a structure to access wellbeing activities, practice coping strategies and develop skills.

I am alive and here for my boys’ – Mason

Mason would not be at home if it wasn’t for this package’ – Mason’s wife

Mason was discharged 12 months ago. He is living safely at home with his family, with the support he needs. He has continued to receive psychological and OT support to manage his thoughts, feelings, flashbacks and safety, and to help him structure the time when his family are not with him. During this period, he has only needed one voluntary 24-hour admission. This is being reviewed regularly to ensure it continues to meet his needs and will be reduced when it is clinically appropriate for him to stay well and safe without this support.

A significant number of patients with section 117 packages of care have now been offered information and choice about changing them into notional personal health budgets by Tameside and Glossop CCG. They estimate the current package of care saves the NHS £1,495 a week, as well as giving Mason priceless independence and time at home with his family.