What is a Personal Health Budget?
The aim of Personal Health Budgets (PHBs) is to enable people with complex medical conditions requiring a lot of care, support and/or highly specialised nursing support to have greater choice, flexibility and control in their lives. A PHB is a sum of NHS money available to meet the health and wellbeing needs of people with a serious long-term illness or health condition. The system for arranging Personal Health Budgets is run by NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG).
What is the process for getting a Personal Health Budget?
If you decide that you would like a Personal Health Budget, and you qualify for one (see below), then the next step will be to develop your own care and support plan. The plan describes the things that are important to you in your daily life, what is working well and what needs to change. By the time the plan is complete it should set out the type of support that will meet your needs and the resources to meet those needs. An example of a Care and Support Plan can be seen here. A care coordinator will work with you to develop the plan and provide as much support as you need; they will discuss with you the size of the budget that could be available to meet your needs.
How would I receive my Personal Health Budget?
You can receive your PHB in three different ways:
- Direct Payments – these are cash payments paid into a separate bank account and that you manage yourself. There are rules about who can receive a Direct Payment (DP) and how it must be managed. You can choose to take some of your PHB as a Direct Payment and some as a notional budget (see below).
- A notional budget – if you do not want a Direct Payment then care and support can be arranged for you by your care coordinator from a range of available services.
- A third party holds your budget – if there is a suitable organisation that agrees to hold your budget for you they can purchase care and support for you.