Personal Health Budgets

A personal health budget is an amount of money identified by your local NHS team which is used to meet your identified health and well-being needs. Personal health budgets (PHB’s) were introduced in to the NHS following a national pilot across England between 2009 and 2012. It is money that would normally have been spent by the NHS on your care, but which can be spent in a way which is personalised to you, giving you more choice, control and flexibility to meet your agreed needs.

From October 2014 people who are assessed as or are already eligible for NHS Continuing Health Care (CHC) and families of children eligible for Continuing Care (CC) will have a “right to have” a personal health budget. 

There some key points and features of a personal health budget that will ensure your experience has the best outcomes possible:

  • The NHS stands by its promise that it is there for everyone, based on need
  • The NHS care and support people receive should be safe and effective
  • Personal health budgets should help people
  • People should have as much control over decisions as they want
  • NHS and social care organisations should work in partnership with the individual
  • People should be told upfront how much money they qualify for
  • Be enabled to choose the health and wellbeing outcomes you want to achieve
  • Be involved in the design of your care and support plan.
  • Be able to request a particular model of budget that best suits you
  • Be able to spend the money in ways and at times that make sense to you

Person-centred care and care planning is at the heart of making personal health budgets work well. If you apply and are granted a personal health budget, CareHub can work with you to develop your care and support plan which will clearly set out your health and well-being needs, your budget and how this will achieve the outcomes you have chosen.  This plan has to be agreed by your local Clinical Commissioning Group before it is implemented, but you have the choice of who supports you to design this plan and how it will meet your needs.  

 

 

The different ways of receiving a Personal Health Budget

 

Notional budget

No money changes hands. The individual is informed how much money is available and talks to their local NHS team about the different ways to spend that money on meeting their needs. The NHS team will then arrange the agreed care and support.

 

Real budget held by a third party

A different organisation or trust holds the money for the individual and supports them to decide what they need; CareHub can become this third party organisation to support you.  After this has been agreed with the individual and their local CCG, CareHub then buys the care and support for the individual.

 

Direct payment for healthcare

This option is where the CareHub can offer the widest range of support to the individual and or their family.

The individual receives the money directly to buy the care and support that they have decided they need, in agreement with their local NHS team. They have to show what the money has been spent on, but the individual, or their representative, buys and manages the services themselves.

Individuals will need a separate bank account to receive a personal health budget via a direct payment. This account must only be used for purchasing care. However, it can also be used for receiving and managing a social care budget. For those who wish to have a budget but don't want to manage it themselves, it may be possible for someone else to manage the budget on your behalf.

For the carer of someone who does not have capacity to manage a personal health budget themselves, the same arrangement may also be possible. Every effort must be made to ask the person about their wishes and to keep their best interests in mind. People can also manage the care and support they choose in different ways, ranging from doing it themselves through to getting help from another person or organisation to implement what is in the care and support plan on their behalf. Care and support plans should be regularly reviewed and updated when necessary, for example if health needs change or something in the plan isn’t working. People can also give up their personal health budget if they do not want their care managed in this way.

 

How to get a Personal Health Budget

If you are someone who would like a personal health budget for yourself or someone you care for, talk to your local NHS team who help you most often with your care. This might be a care manager, or your GP - and they will discuss personal health budgets with you. 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 health care and support that works best for you.

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