Personal Health Budgets: Local Offer

A Personal Health Budget is an amount of money to support a person’s identified health and wellbeing needs, planned and agreed between the person and their local NHS team. At the centre of the personal health budget is a personalised care and support plan. This sets out the health and wellbeing outcomes that the patient wants to achieve as agreed by both the person and their local NHS team, and how the personal health budget will be spent to help the individual.

A local policy is currently in production and will be available in the near future.

Personal health budgets aim to enable people to proactively manage their health; a process known as co-production, which is where the individual and health professional(s) work together as equal partners in deciding how to achieve personal goals.

At the core of a personal health budget is a person-led care plan and support plan, agreed between the NHS and the budget holder. It considers the holistic needs of individuals in line with the context of their broader lives. The process of developing a personalised care plan may lead to people utilising existing services which are already in place and can meet their needs, or it may result in using  personal health budgets in innovative ways to meet their health care needs.

The aim of a personal health budget is to give individuals more choice and control over the money spent on meeting their health and wellbeing needs. Personal health budgets support the vision of a more personalised, patient-focused NHS.

Once a personal care plan has been agreed, the NHS money in a personal health budget can be managed in three different ways:

  • Direct payments: The money is transferred directly to the individual, and they buy the goods and services agreed in their care plan.
  • A notional budget: The NHS holds the money, and buys or provides the goods and services the individual has chosen.
  • A budget held by a third-party: An organisation legally independent of the individual and the NHS holds the money on their behalf, and buys or provides the goods and services chosen.

Individuals should in the first instance, talk to their local NHS team who help them most often with their care - this might be a care manager, or a GP. They will be able to offer help and advice with personal health budgets.

Even if a personal health budget is not appropriate, they will be able to talk through other ways to make sure someone gets the healthcare and support they need.

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