Personal health budgets

What is a personal health budget?

A personal health budget (PHB) is an amount of money that is spent on meeting the health and wellbeing needs of people, generally those with a long-term illness or disability. The NHS wants to make it easier for people to get the healthcare that best suits them. We think having a PHB is one way we can achieve this.

If you have a PHB, you will be able to use it for a range of things to help you meet your health and wellbeing goals, which should be set out in your care plan. It should be used to improve your health and wellbeing by paying for such as for treatments, equipment and personal care to meet your personal goals. The allocated money can’t be used for emergency care or care normally received from a family doctor. You are not allowed to spend the money on gambling, debt repayment, alcohol or tobacco, or anything unlawful.

In addition to these national regulations Bromley CCG does not allow PHBs to be used to purchase:

  • food and drink
  • long-term residential care
  • mortgage payments, rent, utility bills or any other items or services not specified within the care plan.

Although there are no further policy restrictions on the use of PHBs, they must not be used to purchase services that Bromley CCG has already commissioned. If you do want to use your PHB to purchase services that are already commissioned you will need to make a case for this in your support plan.

A personal health budget can take three forms

  • Notional budget. No money changes hands. The PHB holder is informed of how much money is available and discusses with their care coordinator the different ways to spend that money on meeting their needs. The care coordinator then arranges the agreed care.
  • Real budget held by a third party (managed budget). A different organisation or trust holds the money for the PHB holder, helps them to decide what they need, and buys the services they have chosen.
  • Direct payments. The PHB holder receives the cash to buy the services and training that they and their care coordinator have chosen. The PHB holder has to show what they have spent the money on, but they buy and manage services themselves.

In the case of both managed budgets and direct payments, the CCG will assess the suitability of both individuals and companies to hold and manage these forms of budget.

Can I apply for a personal health budget in Bromley?

Since 1 October 2014, NHS Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group has offered PHBs to local residents who receive 'NHS continuing healthcare'. This is for people who need support to stay well but who do not need to be in hospital. For example, this support could be provided for people with learning disabilities or people who are physically frail.

NHS Bromley CCG, Global House, 10 Station Approach, Bromley, BR2 7EH

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