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A personal health budget is an amount of money to support your healthcare and wellbeing needs. It works in a similar way to direct payments and personal budgets for support from social services but a personal health budget comes from the NHS.

The NHS want people to be fully involved in decisions about their health and wellbeing and a personal health budget will give you the opportunity to work in partnership with the NHS about how your health and wellbeing needs can best be met.

Similar to a direct payment or personal budget, a care plan is at the centre of your personal health budget. This plan will help you decide your health and wellbeing goals, together with the local NHS team who support you. If you have a personal health budget, you will be able to use it for a range of things to meet your goals, for example personal care and equipment.

There are a number of options as to how a personal health budget works. One option is where you receive the cash to buy the care and support you and your local NHS team decide you need. You have to show what you have spent it on but you (or your representative) will buy and manage the services yourself.

Penderels Trust offers a full range of support services for people who receive a personal health budget. The support services we provide for people receiving a personal health budget are very similar to those we provide for people receiving a direct payment or personal budget for their social care needs. Most of the services you can read about on this website are available for people who have a personal health budget.

For more general information about personal health budgets, please visit http://www.personalhealthbudgets.england.nhs.uk/

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Personal Health Budget?

A Personal Health Budget is an amount of money that has been allocated to you to pay for your care for your identified healthcare and wellbeing needs.

At the centre of your personal health budget is your care plan. This plan helps you decide your health goals together with your local NHS team.

You may already get a personal budget to pay for your support from social services and personal health budgets work in a similar way.

What are the benefits of having a personal health budget?

The main aim of a personal budget is that you have more choice and control over how the money is being spent to meet your healthcare and wellbeing needs. You will know how much money there is for your healthcare and you will have a say in what treatments and services you have to meet your needs.

Who can have a personal budget?

At the moment, some areas in England are providing personal health budgets to individuals who are receiving care and support through NHS Continuing Healthcare funding and mental health services. From October 2014, all people who are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare will have the right to have a personal health budget.

How does a personal health budget work?

There are three different ways a personal health budget can work:

1) Notional budget

The NHS will tell how much money has been allocated for your care. You tell the NHS how you want the money to be spent and if your local NHS team agrees with your plan, they will arrange the care for you.

2) Real budget held by a third party

An independent organisation, such as Penderels Trust, looks after the money for you and helps you to decide how you want to spend it. This organisation is the ‘third party’. If the local NHS agrees with how you want to spend your money, the third party organisation buys the care and support for you.

3) Direct payment for healthcare

You will receive the money to buy and manage your own healthcare and support. You have to keep the money in a separate bank account and tell your local NHS team what you are spending the money on. Independent organisations, including Penderels Trust, can support you to manage your direct payment for healthcare.

How much will my personal health budget be?

The amount of money you will receive will depend on the health and wellbeing needs that you have and how much it will cost to meet those needs. No one will have to use their own money to get the NHS care they need.

What can I use my personal health budget for?

You can use the budget for most types of healthcare and support but it must be part of your care plan that has been agreed by your local NHS team.

You can use your budget for:

  • Personal care – including employing your own personal assistant or using an agency for your healthcare and wellbeing support.
  • Training or therapy to help you look after your health
  • Equipment to help meet your care needs

One of the main benefits of having a personal health budget is that as long as the services or goods you buy meet your agreed care needs, you can choose what you use the money for and who you buy them from.

What can I not use my personal budget for?

  • Emergency health services
  • Services you would normally get from your doctor
  • Paying off debts
  • Alcohol, tobacco or anything illegal

Do I have to have a personal health budget?

No. If you are happy with how you are receiving your care now, you don’t have to change anything. If you choose to receive a personal health budget but find it isn’t working for you, you can go back to how you received care before.

Personal health budgets should help people get the best services from the NHS. They should not make things worse for anyone.

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