Who can have a personal health budget?

Adults who are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) and children and young people eligible for NHS Continuing Care (CC) are entitled to a personal health budget.

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is currently in the process of developing its Local Offer for Personal Health Budgets.

Children and young people

For children and young people (birth to 25) with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), the personal health budget is likely to form part of their Personal Budget for their Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan.

We aim to support every patient and work with them to identify ways to create a personalised care plan, putting them at the heart of their own healthcare decision making.

What can a PHB be spent on?

Everyone with a personal health budget can get support to think though how they would like to use their budget to meet their health and wellbeing needs.

It is the responsibility of local NHS teams to advise people, and recommend a range of organisations who can offer local support. This is often described as brokerage.

A Personal Health Budget can be spent on any care or services that are set out in the care and support plan that has been put together with the NHS team or voluntary organisation working with the person. The individual care and support plan will need to be agreed with Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG.

Managing your personal health budget

A personal health budget can be managed in three ways or a combination of those.

1. Notional budget

No money changes hands. You find out how much money is available for your assessed needs and together with your NHS team you decide on how to spend that money. They will then arrange the agreed care and support.

2. Third party budget

An organisation legally independent of both you and the NHS (for example, an independent user trust or a voluntary organisation) holds the money for you, pays for and arranges the care and support agreed in your care plan.

3. Direct payment for healthcare

You get the money to buy the care and support you and your NHS team agree you need. You must show what you have spent it on, but you, or your representative, buy and manage services yourself. 

What it doesn't cover

There are things that it would not be right for the Government to fund such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling or debt repayment, or anything that is illegal.

A personal health budget cannot be used to buy emergency care - for example if someone in receipt of a personal health budget had an accident, they would go to A&E like everyone else - they would not use their personal health budget to arrange for it to be x-rayed, set or plastered.

A personal health budget also cannot buy primary care services such as seeing a GP or dental treatment. 

I am interested in a PHB – what should I do?

The first step is to talk to your NHS professional or local CCG about your request. Further information can be found on the NHS Choices website. BNSSG is currently in the process of developing its Personal Health Budgets Policy.