Personal health budgets

A personal health budget (PHB) is an amount of money to support a person’s individual health and wellbeing needs, as agreed between the individual and their local NHS team. The person’s health and wellbeing needs will be set out in a personal centred care and support plan which will be developed by the person together with a health care professional. How the budget will be used to support the health and well-being needs will be set out in this plan and agreed by both the person and the local NHS team. 

People eligible for adult continuing healthcare and children’s continuing care have the “right to have” a PHB. 

Personalised care 

The NHS Five Year Forward View sets out the vision for the future NHS including a new relationship with patients and communities that supports people to gain far greater control of their own care when they need health services. A key part of this is developing how personalised care is offered to individuals. 

Personalised care is about looking at the needs of the individual as a whole and working with them to prepare a care plan that suits their personal needs. 

Personal health budgets 

In some cases, where a person’s health needs are complex, they may be offered a personal health budget. 

They were first introduced in 2014 and are designed to help people manage their care in a way that suits them. It is an amount of money planned and agreed between a person and their local NHS team, which is used to support their identified health and wellbeing needs. 

PHBs can pay for a wide range of items and services, including therapies, personal care and equipment, allowing more choice and control for individuals to manage their own health. 

Our local offer

NHS Kernow has started consulting and engaging with a range of stakeholders in the local communities of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly to have open and honest discussions at what we want to be doing differently and identifying those people who are not well served by current commissioned services. Stakeholders include patients, health professionals, providers, voluntary community sector (VCS) and local Healthwatch. This is a start of our journey and NHS Kernow is planning more events over the next 12 months to develop the offer further. 

NHS Kernow is part of the south west regional demonstrator site for Integrated Personalised Commissioning and this fits into the CCG’s wider planning for PHB’s. IPC is an approach that puts people in control and focuses on their goals and aspirations for the future. Person centred care and support planning is at the heart of the IPC programme and it involves joint-working between individuals, families and practitioners to set health and wellbeing outcomes that matter to them to “live the lives they want to”. 

The programme is aimed at groups of individuals who have high levels of need, who often have both health and social care needs, where a personalised approach would address acknowledged problems in current care provision, help prevent people from becoming more unwell, and enable people to retain their independence. Including: 

  • Children and young people with complex needs.
  • People with multiple long-term conditions.
  • People with learning disabilities with high support needs.
  • People with significant mental health needs.

NHS Kernow is currently working with small numbers of people in all the above groups to look at who may benefit from a PHB in the future. PHB’s and IPC are linked with other programmes such as the Better Care Fund, Living Well and Transforming Care. 

NHS Kernow will be including the roll-out of PHB’s in its’ contracting and commissioning cycles and through the IPC programme look to develop capacity in the VCS, stimulating the market to look at opportunities for delivery and work with a variety of providers to create new support options. 

NHS Kernow will monitor its delivery of PHB’s internally and report to the Governing Body and will also report nationally to NHS England. NHS Kernow also welcomes feedback from people and their families about their experience of PHB’s and will use this information to improve the delivery and roll-out of PHB’s in the future.