Personal health budgets for Continuing Healthcare

Personal health budgets for Continuing Healthcare

Personal health budgets (PHBs) are one way to have more choice and control of your healthcare and support. We use PHBs to support everyone eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare and receiving care at home to meet their agreed health and wellbeing needs.

What is a personal health budget?

A personal health budget is an amount of money to support your identified 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.

Together with the NHS team supporting you, you will develop a care and support plan. The plan sets out your health and wellbeing needs, the health 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 as long as they have been agreed by the NHS team supporting you. This will allow you more choice and control over the health services and care you receive.

A PHB can be received in one of the three options below or a mix of them. Your options for managing your PHB will be discussed with you. 

Notional Budget          

This is where we work with you to identify your health and wellbeing needs and how they can be met. You will be told how much money is available to you, and the NHS team will purchase and manage your care on your behalf.

Direct Health Payment (DHP)

If you choose a DHP you will be responsible for planning, organising, and buying your care. The money for your PHB will be transferred into a bank account so you can pay for your care directly. If you prefer you can choose to have your budget paid to a support service provider who can make payments on your behalf. This is called a “managed account”.

Third Party Budget  

The money for the PHB is paid directly to the Third Party you have chosen, and they will manage the PHB and be the direct employers of any staff that provide care or services for you. You will need to reach a service agreement with your Third Party; you will need to decide who will be responsible for different aspects of the care outlined in the support plan and the managing of the PHB. For example, who is responsible for recruiting staff.

East and North Herts CCG is committed to ensure that the local offer of Personal Health Budgets will not create inequalities for provision across the wider Hertfordshire and West Essex populations.

Key points:

  • You do not need to use your personal health budget to pay for services from your GP or emergency health services.
  • The NHS stands by its promise that it is there for everyone, based on need, not ability to pay.
  • The NHS care and support you get should be safe, effective and compassionate.
  • Personal health budgets should help people who may not always find it easy to get the best out of the NHS to get a better service.
  • You will not have to get healthcare in this way if you do not want to.
  • You should have as much control over decisions as you want.
  • NHS and social care organisations should work in partnership with you and with each other.

How much money will be available in my budget and what can I spend it on?

We will work with you to assess your health and wellbeing needs then we will calculate how much it would cost the NHS to meet them. This is the amount that will be available to you to develop your plan to meet your needs. The amount available is called an “indicative budget”. Your indicative budget will reflect your health needs and will change if your health needs change. 

Once you know your indicative budget you can start planning how you will use it to meet your assessed health and wellbeing needs. Your plan will be written into a personalised care and support plan. Once you are happy with your personalised care and support plan, it will be shared with our Clinical Leads (Senior Nurses). The Clinical Leads will decide if the plan will help to meet your health and wellbeing needs safely and effectively or if there are some changes that need to be made before it can be approved.

Will I be responsible for my own care? What happens if something goes wrong or my needs change?

You and your family and carers or representative will need to agree a personalised care and support plan with your CHC Support Planner. Your personalised care and support plan sets out your health and wellbeing goals, and how your budget will be spent to enable you to reach them and keep healthy and safe. Your CHC Support Planner can give you advice about planning your PHB. You or your representative will be responsible for the day to day management and delivery of your plan. 

In an emergency, you will get NHS care as normal. If having a personal health budget does not work for you, the CHC team will work with you and provide the care you need by arranging for a home care agency to support you. 

You can review and update your care plan when you need to - for example, if your health changes or something in your plan isn’t working for you. The CHC Support Planner can help you do this. We will also review how your PHB is working at 12 weeks and 12 months after your PHB starts.

Will this mean means-testing for health?

No. The personal health budget should be enough to meet your needs in the way you have agreed without you having to spend your own money.

What do I do if I want a personal health budget or if I want to change the way I receive my personal health budget?

Contact us and we will discuss with you what to do next. Telephone: 01707 685 260  Email:

Last modified: 

12 Mar 2021