Personal Health Budgets

Since 2014, NHS Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG has offered people eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) their own personal health budgets.

What is a personal health budget?

A personal health budget (also known more simply as a “PHB”) is an amount of money that can be given directly to a person receiving certain NHS care, to give them greater choice and control about who and how they pay for their help and support. The allocation of this budget is agreed between the person, their carers and their local NHS team. The budget is based upon a detailed care and support plan which identifies the health and wellbeing needs and outcomes of the individual.

Who can have one?

Since 1 October 2014 people who are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare (including children and young people eligible for NHS Continuing Care) have had the right to have a personal health budget.

From April 2016, CCGs will be developing plans on how to offer personal health budgets to other groups of patients who could benefit from them. Horsham and Mid Sussex is currently exploring how personal health budgets can be made available to people with a range of long-term and complex conditions. For more information about these plans and to find out how they may affect you, please don’t hesitate to contact us. At present we are in discussions with NHS England around exploring personalisation and the possible benefits of personal health budgets for people at the end of life, with fast track care planning and support needs. 

How will it help me?

We believe everything we do should focus on people’s individual health and wellbeing needs. That’s why, wherever possible, we are trying to ‘personalise’ the things we do, to empower people fully with greater choice and control in management and decision making around their care.

Many people have said that by using a personal health budget, they have more flexibility, choice and control over how money gets spent on their care and support and that this makes them feel more involved and more positive.

A personal health budget enables you to work with a healthcare professional to prioritise the care needs that are important to you and create a care plan that reflects your own personal health and social goals. Some examples of how a personal health budget may be used include:

  • Having a personal assistant to help you with your daily life, or getting out and about
  • Paying a carer to live in your home to help you
  • Special equipment or changes to your home that help you do everyday tasks
  • Supporting you to undertake activities that help you to be part of a community, such as taking an art class or joining a gym.

How can a personal health budget be organised?

There are six basic steps to a personal health budget:

1. Get clear information
Start by talking to the NHS team who currently look after you to find out whether you would be able to access a personal health budget. If you have been referred to the Horsham and Mid Sussex NHS Funded Healthcare team, they can tell you how personal health budgets work for people eligible for Continuing Healthcare funding.

2. Understand your health and wellbeing needs
If you are able to access a personal health budget, a CCG NHS Funded Healthcare team Nurse Assessor will discuss with you how the personal health budget may work. An important part of setting a personal health budget is agreeing how the care you receive will benefit your health. This will include understanding your health and wellbeing needs. Your Nurse Assessor will talk this through with you.

3. Work out the amount of money that may be available
The CCG NHS Funded Healthcare team Nurse Assessors can work out the amount that is available. The amount of money will be based on your health and wellbeing needs and what a conventional package of care would look like. Have a chat with your nurse if you have any concerns.

4. Make a personalised care and support plan
If you choose to have a personal health budget you will need to have a personalised Support Plan. This is developed by you and your CCG NHS Funded Healthcare team Nurse Assessor. Together you will design a plan that meets your needs and meets NHS funding rules. You can be supported throughout this planning process by a personal health budget advisor from an independent voluntary organisation if you wish. Your Nurse Assessor can give you details of the local organisations who can help you with this.

5. Organise care and support
As soon as your Support Plan has been approved, your personal health budget will need to be activated - this can be organised in a number of different ways:

  • Notional personal health budget – this means the CCG NHS Funded Healthcare team Nurse Assessor will buy the services you need directly from the service provider (e.g. a care agency)
  • 3rd Party personal health budget – this means we pass on the money to someone you know, who then organises your care for you (as described in your Support Plan)
  • Direct payment – this means we pass on the money directly to you, and you can organise your care (as described in your Support Plan)

You can choose one or a combination of the three options above.

Support is available to help you consider these options. If you choose to take a direct payment and therefore become an employer, you may want support with employment responsibilities (such as setting up banks accounts and payroll administration). Please see below for the contact details of some local organisations who can provide this support.

6. Make sure the money is working for you
Your Nurse Assessor is responsible for making sure the help and support you are receiving is meeting your needs. As your needs change, so might your personal health budget, to make sure it is giving you the most appropriate support. Eligibility for specialist funding (for example CHC funding) is reviewed regularly.

Where can I find out more information?

Tel: 01903 708 609


Post: West Sussex Continuing Healthcare, 1 The Causeway, Goring by Sea, BN12 6BT

You can also contact Independent Lives, a local voluntary sector organisation that specialise in providing information and support to people with personal health budgets and been contracted to support personal health budget holders in West Sussex:

Personal health budgets (PHBs) for people requiring aftercare under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act

For information regarding this please click on this link. 

Find out more

More information is also available on the NHS England website.