A personal health budget (PHB) is an amount of money to support someone’s health and wellbeing needs, which is planned and agreed upon between the individual or their representative, and their local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). It isn’t new money, but a different way of spending existing NHS funding to meet the needs of an individual. At the centre of a PHB is the support plan.
A PHB will allow an individual to purchase services, support, activities, and some types of equipment to achieve their health and well-being outcomes agreed with their local CCG.
There are some restrictions in how the budget can be spent and having a personal health budget does not entitle someone to more services, more expensive services, or preferential access to NHS services.
Personalisation of NHS care
Personal health budgets support the vision of a more personalised, patient-focussed NHS, and offer additional opportunities for individuals and health care professionals to work in partnership, making shared decisions and actively co-designing services and support based around what matters to people.
Who can have a personal health budget?
A personal health budget is not open to all patient groups. The following patient groups have a ‘right to have’ a personal health budget:
- Adults eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare and children in receipt of NHS Continuing Care
- People who are referred and meet the eligibility criteria of their local wheelchair service, and people already registered with the wheelchair service, when they require a new wheelchair either through a change in clinical needs or the condition of the current chair
- People who are eligible for after-care services under section 117 of the Mental Health Act, which is the provision or arrangement of help and support for people who have been detained in hospital under section 3, 37, 45A, 47 or 48 of the Mental Health Act 1983, when they leave the hospital
NHS South West London CCG Personal Health Budget Policy
The PHB Policy (2020) sets out the CCG offer and outlines the practice and local procedures for authorising and implementing PHBs.
Further information on PHBs can be found on the NHS England website.