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​​​​​​​​Personal Health Budgets

What is a personal health budget?

A personal health budget is an amount of money that can be given directly to a person receiving NHS care to allow them to purchase care that is tailored to their individual needs. The allocation of this budget is agreed between the individual and their continuing healthcare team, based upon a detailed care and support plan which identifies both healthcare and wellbeing outcomes.

Who can have a personal health budget?

Right now, if you are registered to a GP in Surrey, are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) and are receiving your care at home, you can ask for a personal health budget.

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.

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 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.

How can I get a personal health budget?

There are six basic steps to organising a personal health budget:

1. Getting clear information

Start by talking to the NHS team who currently look after you to find out if you would be eligible for a personal health budget. If you have been referred to the Surrey Continuing Healthcare team (hosted by Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group for the whole of Surrey), we can tell you how personal health budgets work for people who receive Continuing Healthcare.

If you have recently received confirmation that you are eligible for continuing healthcare funding, a package of care and support will be put in place for you.  Your needs will be reviewed after three months, and if you are still eligible for continuing healthcare funding at this time, the continuing healthcare nurse will talk to you about the potential benefits of a personal health budget and whether you would be interested in having one.

2. Understanding your health and wellbeing needs

Your health and wellbeing needs will be assessed by your multi-disciplinary team (which may include a community nurse, social worker, and other health professionals). The team, supported by a Continuing Healthcare nurse, 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 - your team will talk this through with you.

3. Working out the amount of money that may be available

As soon as Continuing Healthcare funding is confirmed at 3 months, your nurse can work out the amount of money that will be available to you in your personal health budget. 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 continuing healthcare nurse if you have any questions or concerns.

4. Making a personalised care and support plan

If you choose to have a personal health budget you will need to have a personalised care and support plan (sometime called a Health Support Plan). This is developed by you and your Continuing Healthcare nurse - together you will design a plan that meets your needs and meets NHS funding rules. You can, if you choose, also be supported throughout this planning process by an Independent Living Advisor from Surrey Independent Living Council.

5. Organising care and support

As soon as your Health 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 Continuing Healthcare team will buy the services you need directly from the service provider (e.g. a care agency, or if you are in permanent residential accommodation)
  • 3rd party personal health budget – this means we pass on the money to someone you know, who then organises your care for you (as agreed and described in your Health Support Plan)
  • Direct payment – this means we pass on the money directly to you, and you can organise your own care (as agreed and described in your Health Support Plan)

You can also choose to receive your budget as a combination of the three options above.

6. Making sure the money is working for you

Your Continuing Healthcare nurse 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 CHC funding is also reviewed regularly.

Where can I find out more information?

If you want to know more or you have any questions about personal health budgets, you can call and speak to a member of the Continuing Healthcare team on 01372 201 609.

Surrey Independent Living Council work closely with the NHS to help people with their personal health budgets by providing independent advice and support. You can call them on 01483 458 111.

You can also find out more online here - www.personalhealthbudgets.england.nhs.uk​​