What is a personal health budget?

A personal health budget is an amount of money to support your identified health and wellbeing needs, planned and agreed between you and your local NHS team. The aim is to give people with long-term conditions and disabilities greater choice and control over the healthcare and support they receive.

What is the local offer?

Eligibility for a PHB is determined by national legislation, along with local health needs, financial constraints and other factors. Within Swindon we have identified the following groups of people to be eligible to apply for a personal health budget at this time:

  • Children’s NHS continuing care (CC), including children with special educational needs and disabilities as part of their EHC plans (EHCP)
  • NHS continuing health care
  • Joint Funded adults including Mental Health and Learning Disabilities
  • Those eligible for S117 Mental Health Act Aftercare Those with complex Learning Disabilities and/or autism, including all those in inpatient care and those living in the community but at risk of being admitted to inpatient care.

Why are personal health budgets being introduced?

Personal health budgets are being introduced by the NHS to help people manage their care in a way that suits them. They have been piloted in a number of places across England and since October 2014, adults receiving NHS Continuing Healthcare and children in receipt of continuing care have had a right to have a personal health budget

When are they being introduced?

Personal health budgets have been available to certain groups since 2014. They are now being offered to a wider range of people.

Who can have a personal health budget?

  • People who receive NHS Continuing Healthcare or children’s Continuing Care (under the ‘right to have’ guidance)
  • Individuals with high levels of need (not Continuing Healthcare), with suitable health needs
  • Children with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans who could benefit from a joint budget including money from the NHS
  • People with learning disabilities or autism and high support needs
  • Individuals who make ongoing use of mental health services
  • Those with long-term conditions for whom current services don’t work, resulting in increased access of acute services
  • People who need high cost, longer term rehabilitation e.g. those with an acquired brain injury, spinal injury or mental health recovery

How do people find out about them and apply?

  • The CCG has already identified some areas where PHB will be offered
  • Practitioners will be supported to identify suitable people (i.e. those with complex health needs who may benefit) and discuss how a PHB could help.
  • In the first instance people should approach their healthcare practitioner. At a minimum there should be discussion about the thinking behind the request, a focus on improving outcomes, and whether needs could be met differently, resulting in a personalised care plan.
  • Information will be made available on the CCG website and those of partner organisations.

How will we make sure that seldom-heard groups know about personal health budgets?

  • The CCG will need the support of partners, particularly frontline staff, the voluntary and community sector and service users, to ensure that those who might benefit from PHB - potential recipients and carers as well as service users - are offered the opportunity to discuss a PHB and how to get involved in the work to develop this Local Offer.

Who makes decisions?

  • Ultimately the clinical commissioning group (CCG) is accountable for our Local Offer and the governance of PHB. This responsibility includes working together with partners to ensure PHBs are managed and issued appropriately
  • The PHB is signed off by the CCG.

What support will be available to get a personal health budget and to manage it?

  • The CCG will offer the same Support Providers, who will help manage distribute the personal health budgets as the Local Authority (LA). The CCG would also like to see the development of Peer support where service users can support each other and there is an opportunity to increase the role of the voluntary and community sector.

How will we make sure all the options (including direct payments and third party budgets) are available?

  • This will depend upon the progress of wider work relating to understanding budgets. We will be open about which options can be available and the reasons why others (such as a direct payment) are not. Timescales will be available for the different implementation plans which will be required.

How will we improve the support options available?

  • The CCG will need the support of the VCS and service users to identify gaps and help find solutions