Personal Health Budget
A personal health budget (PHB) is an amount of money needed to support a person’s health and wellbeing needs, planned and agreed between the person and their local NHS team.
At the centre of the personal health budget is a care and support plan. This sets out the agreed health and wellbeing outcomes that the patient wants to achieve and how the budget will be spent to help that person achieve their goals.
The money can either be paid to the individual (a direct payment), or can be managed by a third party on the person’s behalf.
More choice and control
The aim of a personal health budget is to give you more choice and control over the money spent on meeting your health and wellbeing needs.
PHBs support the vision of a more personalised, patient-focused NHS. NHS England's website has more information and advice about the scheme:
Co-production and changing the conversation
One of the central aims of personal health budgets is to enable people to play an active role in managing their health. This can also be described as co-production - working together with health professionals as an equal partner, deciding together how best to achieve goals.
This may lead to people using their budgets in innovative ways rather than relying on services that the NHS would normally provide.
In order to enable people to play an active role in managing their health this requires a change in conversation.
Personal health budgets see people:
- in their whole life context - as part of a family and community; and
- as unique individuals building on strengths as well as needs.
From October 2014, those patients eligible for NHS continuing health care (CHC) (including children and young people) had the right to request a personal health budget.
Children and young people
For children and young people (birth to 25) with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), the personal health budget is likely to form part of their Personal Budget for their Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan.
More information is available on the Wirral Local Offer Website.
We aim to support every patient and, whilst we are not always able to provide everyone with a direct payment, we can work together to identify ways to create a personalised care plan, giving you more responsibility and control of your own healthcare decision making.
Everyone with a personal health budget can get support to consider how they would like to use their budget to meet their health and wellbeing needs.
It is the responsibility of local NHS teams to advise people, and recommend a range of organisations who can offer local support. This is often described as brokerage. Cheshire Centre for Independent Living have been commissioned to offer a brokerage service and can help Wirral residents put together their care plan and plan how they will spend their personal health budget.
A personal health budget can be spent on care or services that are set out in the care and support plan. This plan will be put together with the NHS team or voluntary organisation working with the person - and this needs to be agreed by the CCG (clinical commissioning group). The care and support plan will describe what is needed to meet a person’s assessed health needs.
There are things that it would not be right for the Government to fund such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling, debt repayment, or anything that is illegal.
A personal health budget cannot be used to buy emergency care - for example if someone in receipt of a personal health budget had an accident, they would go to A&E like everyone else - they would not use their personal health budget to arrange for an x-ray, or to receive any immediate treatment?
A personal health budget also cannot buy primary care services such as seeing a GP or dental treatment. However, other health services could be included, if it is agreed that those provided by the NHS are not suitable to meet the person’s needs, or the individual has been assessed as needing something different to what the NHS can offer.
Those people assessed as being eligible for Continuing HealthCare (or children’s continuing care) will continue to have a right to ask for a personal health budget, and we plan to promote the benefits of having a personal budget to increase take-up.
We have already started to expand our offer of personal health budgets beyond those eligible for Continuing Healthcare or Children’s Continuing Care. From April 2016 we would like to continue to increase the number of personal health budgets in place, and will focus on the benefits for people with a learning disability who have been assessed as needing health and social care support above and beyond the mainstream NHS services available (such as the NHS Community Learning Disability Team).
We are working closely with the Council to ensure a smooth process for those people eligible for both direct payments for their social care package, and a personal health budget for the NHS-funded element of their care.
Our intention is to move towards a pooled budget so that people are able to deal with a single commissioner, and to receive a single set of payments.