What are Personal Health Budgets?
A Personal Health Budget (PHB) 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.
The right to have a Personal Health Budget only applies to adults receiving NHS continuing healthcare (NHS-funded long-term health and personal care provided outside hospital) and children in receipt of continuing care.
At the centre of your Personal Health Budget is your care plan. This plan helps you decide your health and wellbeing goals, together with the local NHS team who support you, and set out how your budget will be spent to enable you to reach them and keep healthy and safe.
If you have a Personal Health Budget, you will be able to use it for a range of things to help you meet your goals, for example therapies, personal care and equipment. You will not be able to pay for emergency care and care you normally get from a family doctor. You are also not allowed to spend the money on gambling, debt repayment, alcohol or tobacco, or anything unlawful.
There will be an assessment of your care needs to establish what support you will need and how this can be arranged.
This short animated film explains how PHBs can be provided as part of NHS Continuing Healthcare.
PHBs can be managed in three ways, or a combination of them:
- Notional Budget - The money is held by the NHS and services are commissioned by the NHS according to the support plan agreed.
- Third Party Budget - The money is paid to an organisation independent of the person and holds the money on the person's behalf. This organisation is contractually and financially responsible for the care and support and will be the employer for any personal assistants engaged to support the person.
- Direct Payment - The money is paid to the person or their representative. A direct payment can be managed by a support service which may be known as a managed account service.
Refusal of a Direct Payment request - Where a PHB by means of a Direct Payment is deemed not appropriate for an individual, NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group will explore other available options for personalisation.
What can I do if I want a Personal Health Budget?
Talk to your local NHS team who help you most often with your care - this could be a nurse or your GP. Even if a personal health budget is not right for you, you can talk to them about other ways to make sure that you get the healthcare and support that works best for you. Visit the personal health budgets page on the NHS website.
Personal Health Budgets for Warrington and for Halton are managed within a single Individual Commissioning Team. Click here to view our local Personal Health Budget Policy.
Individuals, relatives, carers and representatives can contact the team on:
Telephone: 01925 303130 or