Personal Health Budgets
A Personal Health Budget is an amount of money that is provided to you by the NHS to support your health and wellbeing needs.
It must be used for your health and wellbeing. You cannot use the money for anything else.
Your budget will be planned and agreed between you, your parent / carer (or someone who represents you), and your local NHS team.
It is not extra funding, but it can give you more choice and control over the care you receive. This can improve your quality of life and the experience you have of care services.
You will not get any more (or any less) support by having a Personal Health Budget.
If you don't want a Personal Health Budget, you don't have to have one.
Effect on other income
Personal Health Budgets are:
- not means-tested (there is no check to see if you or your household is eligible due to your circumstances)
- not part of the benefits system
- not taken into account when working out which benefits you are entitled to
Who can get a Personal Health Budget
Some children and young people have long term health and personal care needs outside of the hospital.
This is known as:
- 'Continuing Care' for children
- 'Continuing Health Care' for adults.
If you are eligible for either of these, you can apply for a Personal Health Budget.
You can request a Personal Health Budget through your care coordinator.
If you are eligible, they will carry out a Continuing Health Care Assessment to understand your health and wellbeing needs.
How much you will get
The amount you get will be based on your needs.
A Continuing Health Care Assessment will be carried out to decide how much your budget will be.
This will be used to calculate an indicative (estimated) budget.
How to apply
You can ask your care coordinator about a Personal Health Budget at any point.
If you decide to have a Personal Health Budget, your care coordinator will support you to develop a plan for how it will be managed, delivered and spent.
How you can use a Personal Health Budget
Your care coordinator will work with you, and those who support you, to decide how best to use your budget to meet your needs.
This will be written in a support plan, which both you and your care coordinator must sign.
The money must only be used on the support that has been agreed in your support plan.
NHS South Tyneside has a duty to make sure you are spending the money on what has been agreed.
It will recover any money that has not been spent appropriately.
How you can receive and use a Personal Health Budget
There are 3 ways you can receive and use a Personal Health Budget.
- Direct Payments
With Direct Payments, the money is paid directly to you, so you can buy and manage services yourself. You must use the money on the support that has been agreed in your support plan, and you must show what you have spent the money on.
- A notional budget
With a notional budget, the NHS holds the funds and arranges the support for you. This is best if you are unable to (or don't want to) manage Direct Payments yourself.
- Third party arrangement
With a third party arrangement, funds are paid to an organisation, such as a care agency. The organisation then employs a care worker on your behalf. Usually, this is called an 'independent user trust', which allows the third party to manage the budget on your behalf.
The assessment and review process is the same however you receive your Personal Health Budget.