Personal health budgets


Adults who are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding, and children in receipt of continuing care have had a legal right to have a personal health budget since October 2014.

By April 2019, NHS England expects that unless there are exceptional circumstances, everyone living in their own home who is in receipt of standard CHC funding will have a personal health budget.

What is a personal health budget?

A personal health budget is an amount of money to support your health and wellbeing needs, planned and agreed between you and your local NHS team. The aim is to give people with long-term conditions and disabilities greater choice and control over the healthcare and support they receive.

Personal health budgets work in a similar way to the personal budgets that many people are already using to manage and pay for their social care.

Together with your NHS team you will develop a care and support plan. This sets out your personal health and wellbeing needs, the outcomes you want to achieve, the amount of money in the budget and how you are going to spend it. You can use a personal health budget to pay for a wide range of items and services, including therapies, personal care and equipment. This will allow you more choice and control over the health services and care you receive.

You don’t have to change any healthcare or support that is working well for you just because you get a personal health budget, but if something isn’t working, you can change it.

An introduction to personal health budgets in continuing healthcare (CHC). An animated video that explains the basic concept of PHBs.

What are the options for a personal health budget?

Once your care and support plan has been agreed, the money in a personal health budget can be managed in a number of different ways:

  1. Notional budget. No money changes hands. You will be informed how much money is available and about the different ways to spend the money on meeting your needs. The CCG will then arrange the agreed care and support.
  2. Real budget held by a third party. A different organisation or trust holds the money for you and supports you to decide what you need. After this has been agreed with you and the CCG, the organisation then buys the care and support. The Organisation will be expected to maintain a separate account for you where your PHB will be paid into. The organisation will have to show what the money has been spent on by submitting regular bank account statement and other proof of spend.
  3. Direct payment for healthcare. You receive the money directly to buy the care and support that you have decided you need, in agreement with the CCG. You will be expected to maintain a separate account for you where your PHB will be paid into. You will have to show what the money has been spent on by submitting regular bank account statement and other proof of spend. However, you, or your representative, buys and manages the services.

If someone wishes to have a budget but doesn’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.

Who can have a personal health budget?

The following people are eligible for a personal health budget in Haringey:

We will continue to look at how we can develop our plans to extend Personal Health Budgets to other groups in our population. 

Can I have a personal health budget as well as a personal budget for social care and support?

Yes. If you already have a personal budget for care and support from social services and your NHS team agrees, you can also have a personal health budget and ask for both to be combined.

Do I have to have a personal health budget?

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

What is the difference between a personal health budget, an integrated budget, a personal budget, an individual budget and a direct payment?

  • A personal health budget is for your NHS healthcare and support needs.
  • An integrated budget is a joint budget between health and social care
  • A personal budget is for your social care and support needs.
  • An individual budget includes your social care and support needs plus other funding, such as independent living.
  • A direct payment is one way of managing these budgets, where you get the cash to buy the agreed care and support you need.

How do personal health budgets fit with personal budgets in social care?

  • Personal health budgets are an opportunity for NHS and local councils to think about how to join up services between health and social care in a way that is sensible and beneficial for the person. If you already receive direct budgets for your social care and the NHS also funds part of your care. We will arrange with the Council to have the NHS

Can health & social care budgets be kept in the same bank account?

  • Personal health budgets and social care personal budgets can be held in the same place, for example in a single bank account separate to any personal bank account. However, there must be clear lines of accountability.

How can I apply for a personal health budget or find out more?

If you are in receipt of CHC or Continuing Care and would like to find out more about personal health budgets and information about how to apply for one, please contact Haringey CCG:

T: 020 3688 2741
E: HARCCG.continuingcare1@nhs.net  

Information, Advice and Guidance

If you are interested in receiving a personal health budget in the form of a direct payment or third party payment, the CCG will refer you to an organisation who will meet with you to discuss your needs and help you to develop a care and support plan which will set out what your personal health budget will be used for.

Frequently asked questions about PHBs

Can I have a personal health budget as well as a personal budget for social care and support?

Yes. If you already have a personal budget for care and support from social services and your NHS team agrees, you can also have a personal health budget and ask for both to be combined.

Do I have to have a personal health budget?

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

What is the difference between a personal health budget, an integrated budget, a personal budget, an individual budget and a direct payment?

  • A personal health budget is for your NHS healthcare and support needs.
  • An integrated budget is a joint budget between health and social care
  • A personal budget is for your social care and support needs.
  • An individual budget includes your social care and support needs plus other funding, such as independent living.
  • A direct payment is one way of managing these budgets, where you get the cash to buy the agreed care and support you need.

How do personal health budgets fit with personal budgets in social care?

  • Personal health budgets are an opportunity for NHS and local councils to think about how to join up services between health and social care in a way that is sensible and beneficial for the person. If you already receive direct budgets for your social care and the NHS also funds part of your care. We will arrange with the Council to have the NHS

Can health & social care budgets be kept in the same bank account?

  • Personal health budgets and social care personal budgets can be held in the same place, for example in a single bank account separate to any personal bank account. However, there must be clear lines of accountability.

Further information about personal health budgets

There is lots of information available on personal health budgets. Some useful links are below: