For people with complex health needs, a personal health budget (PHB) is a way to gain more control over your own care.
Everyone is different. What you think of as most important to your sense of wellbeing may be completely different to someone else. For some people greater help with their cleanliness might be of greater importance, for others it might be extra support to pursue personal interests or socialising, for others it might be gaining greater independence. These priorities will depend on both physical needs and what’s most important to the person receiving care.
The idea of personal health budget (PHB) is that people who have complex needs are able to have greater control over their own healthcare and support so they can better achieve their own personal health and wellbeing priorities. This greater control over care has been shown to improve people’s health and wellbeing as well as helping to prevent the need for other NHS services, such as a frustrating stay in hospital.
A PHB is an amount of money which is planned and agreed between you (or someone who represents you) and your local NHS team. This money allows you to take an active role in choosing and controlling your care that best meets your needs and helps you to achieve your wellbeing priorities.
If you are eligible (see below for more on eligibility) and decide to have a PHB, you and your NHS team will work together to develop a care plan. The plan sets out your personal health and wellbeing needs, the health outcomes you want to achieve, the amount money in the budget, and how you will spend it.
Once the plan has been agreed, you will have a discussion with your NHS team to determine how you would like to manage your budget. You can manage your budget yourself, your NHS team can manage it for you or another organisation separate from the CCG can take on the budget management role. The plan will then be regularly reviewed to ensure it is still meeting your needs.
For more information on who can get a PHB, see the NHS Thurrock CCG local offer.
Who can get a personal health budget?
- People who are eligible for NHS continuing healthcare or children and young people with continuing care have had the right to have a personal health budget since 2014;
- Children and young people with an Education, Health and Care plan can request a PHB;
- People with Mental Health difficulties who meet the eligibility criteria;
- Young people who are moving on from the Children’s Emotional Wellbeing Mental Health service (CAMHS);
- Wheelchair users (click the link to find out more about personal wheelchair budgets);
- Further plans are also currently being developed to extend the offer of PHBs for a range of other conditions and care management options.
How can I apply for a personal health budget?
A personal health budget may not be for everyone and so they are completely voluntary. If you or someone you care for fall within the current terms of the local offer [link] and would be interested in applying for a PHB, speak to the person most closely involved with your care. They can tell you more about PHBs and the application process.
How can I find more information on personal health budget?
The NHS website has a lot of useful information on PHBs including some personal stories.
The People Hub website has stories, including videos, from people that have personal experiences of PHBs as well as useful resources for people considering PHBs.
We also have a number of useful documents which you can download from our PHB Key Documents page.