NHS personal health budgets
What is a ‘personal health budget’?
A personal health budget is an amount of NHS money to help you meet your health and wellbeing needs.
In Bexley we are offering Personal Health Budgets for people who are eligible for fully funded NHS continuing healthcare and not living in residential nursing homes.
There are three types of personal health budgets:
- A notional budget – you do not get any money, but your care coordinator will tell you the money available to meet your needs. A notional budget is for individuals who do not want or cannot manage direct payments. You and your care coordinator will then agree what services you want to pay for.
- A real budget held by a third party – this is where a care agency employs a care worker on your behalf. A more unusual third party arrangement is an ‘independent user trust’. This is set up to manage the budget on behalf of the patient and be accountable for the money.
- Direct payments – you get a pre-paid card to buy the services you and your care coordinator agree you need. You have to show what you have spent it on, but you buy and manage your services yourself.
Will it affect my benefits?
Personal health budgets are not a welfare benefit and are not a part of the benefits system.
This means they are not taken into account when calculating your benefits entitlement. Personal health budgets are given in order to meet health and wellbeing needs, and cannot be spent for any other reason.
NHS Bexley CCG has a duty to ensure that payments are being used for what has been agreed with your care co-ordinator and documented in your support plan.
NHS Bexley CCG is entitled to recover any money that is not spent appropriately.
Whatever form of personal health budget is used, the assessment and review process for NHS continuing healthcare remains as it is now.
How does it work?
There are three key steps to meeting health and wellbeing needs under the personal health budgets system:
Step 1 – assessment of needs
Your care co-ordinator will ask you questions to find out what you need for your health and wellbeing.
Step 2 – budget-allocation
Your assessment of needs is used to calculate an ‘indicative budget’. An ‘indicative budget’ is an estimate of the amount of money needed to meet your health and wellbeing needs.
Step 3 – support planning and using the budget
Your care co-ordinator will then work with you, and those who support you, to decide how best to use the personal health budget to meet your needs. This is written in a support plan, which both you, your care coordinator and NHS Bexley CCG must sign.
What does this mean for me?
People who are eligible for NHS continuing healthcare will have much more say over how their health and wellbeing needs are met. If you are receiving direct payments through social services, you will be able to continue with this even if you become eligible for NHS continuing healthcare.
If you would like to find out more about having your Personal Health Budget as a Direct Payment, please ask your care coordinator for a leaflet.
You may choose to keep your existing services exactly as they are.
What do you think?
We are keen to hear your thoughts on this as it will provide us with feedback and will help us develop a service that works well for everyone.
If you have any questions or comments on continuing healthcare or personal health budgets, please contact:
NHS Bexley continuing healthcare team
Tel: 020 8298 6065