Personal Health Budgets
What is a Personal Health Budget?
A personal health budget is an amount of money that is spent on meeting the healthcare and wellbeing needs of people, generally those with a long term illness or disability. The NHS wants to make it easier for people and for them to get the NHS care that best suits them. Having a personal health budget is one way we way we think we can achieve this.
If you have a personal health budget, you will be able to use it for a range of things to help you meet your health and wellbeing goals. You will not be able to pay for emergency care and care you normally get from a family doctor. You are also not allowed to spend the money on gambling, debt repayment, alcohol or tobacco, or anything unlawful. There is more information in the Understanding Personal Health Budgets document at the bottom of the page.
A personal health budget (PHB) can take three forms:
Notional budget - No money changes hands. You find out how much money is available and talk to your doctor or care manager about the different ways to spend that money on meeting your needs. They will then arrange the agreed care.
Real budget held by a third party - A different organisation or trust holds the money for you, helps you decide what you need and then buys the services you have chosen.
Direct payment - You get the cash to buy the services you and your doctor or care manager decide you need. You have to show what you have spent it on, but you buy and manage services yourself. A personal health budget is not the same as a direct payment.
Can I apply for a Personal Health Budget in Lambeth?
NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group offers Personal Health Budgets to anyone receiving 'NHS continuing healthcare', this is for people who need support to maintain their wellbeing but do not need to be in hospital. For example this may be provided for people with learning disabilities or people who are physically frail.