This page tells you about Personal Health Budgets. You may also find information you need on the Continuing Healthcare page.
What is a personal health budget (PHB)?
A personal health budget is an amount of money to support your health and wellbeing needs, which is planned and agreed between you (or someone who represents you), and your local NHS team. It is not new money, but it may mean spending money differently so that you can get the care that you need.
A personal health budget allows you to manage your healthcare and support such as treatments, equipment and personal care, in a way that suits you. It works in a similar way to personal budgets, which allow people to manage and pay for their social care needs.
NHS England have produced a short video entitled what are personal health budgets? which describes what they are and how they are helping people to get care and support that is right for them.
Who can have a personal health budget?
The right to have a personal health budget applies to people who are:
- adults receiving NHS continuing healthcare (NHS-funded long-term health and personal care provided outside hospital)
- children receiving NHS continuing healthcare
- people who are referred and meet the eligibility criteria of their local wheelchair service and people who are already registered with the wheelchair service when they need a new wheelchair or specialist buggy, either because of a change in clinical needs or the condition of the current chair. These people will be eligible for a personal wheelchair budget.
- people with mental health problems who are eligible for section 117 after-care as a result of being detained under certain sections of the Mental Health Act (this does not include detention under section 2 of the Act).
If you are not in a group that has a right to a personal health budget, but you are interested in receiving one, please contact us and we will be happy to advise further.
How does a personal health budget work?
When NHS Continuing Healthcare funding has been agreed you will receive a letter confirming this. If you are interested in arranging a personal health budget (PHB) please get in touch with the team and they will arrange for a PHB Case Coordinator to contact you.
The case coordinator will work out the amount of money which will be available to you based on your health and wellbeing needs. If you want to go ahead, a personalised care and support plan will be developed by you and the PHB Case Coordinator, which meets your needs and NHS funding rules. You can, if you choose, also be supported throughout this planning process by an Independent Living Advisor from Surrey Independent Living Council.
As soon as your Health Support Plan has been approved, your personal health budget will need to be activated. This can be organised in a number of different ways:
- Notional personal health budget – No money changes hands. You find out how much money is available for your assessed needs, and together with your NHS team, you decide on how to spend that money. They will then arrange the agreed care and support for you.
- Third party personal health budget – An organisation legally independent of both you and the NHS (for example, an independent user trust or a voluntary organisation) holds the money for you, and also pays for and arranges the care and support agreed in your care plan.
- Direct payment – You get the money to buy the care and support you and your NHS team agree you need. You must show what you have spent it on, but you, or your representative, buy and manage services yourself.
You can also choose to receive your budget as a combination of the three options above.
Your PHB Case Coordinator is responsible for making sure the help and support you are receiving is meeting your needs. As your needs change, so might your personal health budget, to make sure it is giving you the most appropriate support.
Who do I contact for more information about personal health budgets?
If you want to know more or you have any questions about personal health budgets, you can call and speak to a member of the personal health budget team on 0300 561 1344.
Surrey Independent Living Council work closely with us to help people with their personal health budgets by providing independent advice and support.