A personal health budget is a set amount of money to spend on the support and services that will meet your health and wellbeing needs, as agreed between you (or your representative) and your local NHS team. It can be provided in a number of ways – including direct payments – to suit each person and their care plan.
You will be able to spend it on a range of activities, services and some types of equipment, tailored to you in order to meet your needs in way that suits you best.
Personal Health Budgets are not ‘new money’ but represent the opportunity to utilise money already in the NHS in a different way, to maximise impact and benefit of that money by personalising the way that people receive healthcare.
Who is eligible for a personal health budget?
People with long term conditions and disability who are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare have a right to have a personal health budget if they wish. From April 2019 onwards, if you are in receipt of a fully funded CHC home care package, you wil be offered the option of a personal health budget at your next review.
Children and young people with continuing care needs also have the right to have a personal health budget. We also offer a Personal Health Budget to people with learning disabilities and complex needs where they would benefit from one.
For individuals receiving services from health and social care and/or Special Education Services where they are eligible for a personal budget from these organisations, the CCG can pay into an integrated personal budget to ensure your holistic needs can be met. This represents a significant expansion as directed by the government and the CCG will continue to work with Local Authority colleagues and the rest of the local health economy to widen the Personal Health Budget offer over the next three to five years.
Most of the money that could be used for Personal Health Budgets is currently tied up in ‘block contracts’ with providers of traditional NHS services. These will require to be separated in order to free the money from the system for individual budgets. The processes for doing this are complicated and therefore the expansion of Personal Health Budgets to cover these types of services will take time.
Why should I have a personal health budget?
The aim of a personal health budget is to give individuals more choice and control over the money spent on meeting their health and wellbeing needs. PHBs support the vision of a more personalised, patient-focused NHS that recognises you as the expert in what is right for you. It allows you to have a conversation with your NHS Team as an expert of lived experience to ensure that the outcomes that matter most to you and the way that you would like your care delivered are the main focus of your care plan.
NHS England's website has more information and advice about the scheme.
Do I have to have a personal health budget?
No. You don’t have to change the healthcare and support if it is working well for you. But if there’s something that isn’t working, or maybe it could be improved if it was delivered in a different way, you can change that through a personal health budget.
It’s important to remember that a personal health budget doesn’t need to cover all of your needs if some of the support you currently receive works for you. A personal health budget is just another option available to those that are eligible, as an alternative way to meet the needs where current support or care isn’t working so well.