Personal Health Budgets

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Since October 2014, anyone who receives continuing healthcare has the right to have a personal health budget. This is an amount of money from the NHS allocated to an individual to support their health and wellbeing. Personal health budgets help people maintain their independence, giving them more control over the care they receive.

Over time Newham CCG will enhance personal health budgets so that more patients with varied needs have access to personal health budgets and can take more control over their health and wellbeing needs. Find out more about who is currently eligible here.

We will continue to expand access to personal health budgets so that we better meet the needs of local people in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders including the public, service users, London Borough of Newham, health service providers and voluntary sector organisations within the borough. Please contact the continuing healthcare and personal health budget commissioner for NHS Newham CCG Peter Turner if you would like to work with us in developing our local offer for personal health budgets.

What is a personal health budget?

A personal health budget is an amount of NHS money allocated to meet your health and wellbeing needs if you are eligible to receive it. This gives you more choice and control over the support you receive as you will be able to plan your care. It also allows you to think of new ways to meet your health and wellbeing needs and provides greater flexibility over how and when you receive your care.

How does it work?

Initially, your health and wellbeing needs will be assessed with your continuing healthcare team to develop your care plan, which will inform how much money you need. You will be advised how much money you will receive and your support worker will work with you and your carers to agree how best to use your personal health budget and develop a support plan with you. Once the support plan is agreed by you and Newham Clinical Commissioning Group, your personal health budget will be confirmed and your plan implemented.

What is a support plan? 

A support plan sets out how you will use your personal health budget and must cover the following:

  • The health and wellbeing outcomes you want to achieve
  • How your outcomes will be achieved
  • The risks to your health, wellbeing, safety and independence
  • How you will manage your personal health budget 
  • Contingency arrangements should support arrangements fail

Your support plan and budget need to be approved by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) where you live before your budget can be spent. Your support manager will help you with this. The CCG will decide whether there is sufficient money in your personal health budget to pay for all the support and services outlined in your support plan. Everything in your support plan must be lawful and comply with Department of Health guidelines. Once your care plan is approved, you can then buy or arrange the services you need.

How much money will I receive?

That depends on your needs. Once your personal health budget is confirmed you will have a regular review to look at whether your health and wellbeing outcomes are being met. Depending on the way you receive your money, the management of it will also be reviewed to make sure it is being spent on those things identified in your support plan.

How will I receive my personal health budget?

You can choose how to receive your money from the following options. You can choose more than one option to give you the level of choice and control that you want.

  1. As a direct payment: Money will be paid directly into your bank account and you buy the services or equipment you and your care co-ordinator agree that you need. You will need to keep financial records and receipts to show how you have spent your budget. If you accept a direct payment you will be asked to enter into a formal agreement and set up a separate bank account for the Personal Health Budget.
  2. A notional budget: NHS staff will arrange and pay for the services for you.
  3. A budget held by a third party organisation for your care: You can nominate a third party to hold your budget and arrange your care for you. This could, for example, be a care agency that will employ a care worker on your behalf.

What if my personal health budget runs out? Can I top it up with my own money?

Your personal health budget is calculated annually on the basis of your specific needs. You cannot top it up with your own money. If you wish to spend your own money on extra services however, (i.e. massage or more physiotherapy than your doctor thinks is necessary to improve your health) you can do this. You would need to organise and pay for this yourself, and it would be separate to your personal health budget.

Will having a personal health budget affect my benefits?

No. It will not affect any welfare benefits you may receive as it is not regarded as income.

Do I have to have a personal health budget?

No. If having a personal health budget doesn’t work for you, your local NHS will provide the care you need as it has always done.

How can I get a personal health budget?

Talk to your local NHS team who help you most often with your care - this might be a care coordinator 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 care and support that works best for you. The NHS England website also has more information on personal health budgets.

Who else can I speak to?

  • The continuing healthcare and personal health budget commissioner for NHS Newham CCG is Peter Turner, tel. 020 3688 2384
  • The director responsible is Ian Tritschler
  • For children and young people services, the continuing healthcare and personal health budget commissioner is John Dunning, tel. 020 3688 2147
  • The director responsible is Satbinder Sanghera