Personal health budgets

About personal health budgets

Personal health budgets have been introduced by the NHS to help people manage their care in a way that suits them. They were piloted in a number of places across England and, since 2014, anyone receiving NHS continuing healthcare or NHS Children’s Continuing Care has a right to have a personal health budget. From 2016 onwards, the Government has set targets for the NHS to expand the scope of personal health budgets to other areas of health.

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. Personal health budgets work in a similar way to the personal budgets that many people are already using to manage and pay for their social care.

Together with your NHS team (such as a GP) you will develop a care plan. To help you with this, Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) can appoint independent brokerage support to help you write the plan and find out more information about services available to you.

The plan sets out your personal 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, such as personal care and equipment. This will allow you more choice and control over the health services and care you receive.

Who can have a personal health budget?

As well as continuing to offer personal health budgets to those with continuing care/continuing health care needs, from April 2016, Barnet CCG will be expanding the personal health budget offer as part of developing more person-centered health care for residents of the borough.

Initially during 2016, the local offer in Barnet will focus on the following groups:

  • Adults with a diagnosed personality disorder
  • Children and young people with an education health & care plan (EHC plan) whose health needs cannot be met by the type of health services currently available in Barnet
  • Children and adults with a learning disability who are at risk of admission to an NHS or private hospital placement
  • Adults with a learning disability in long-term NHS or private hospital placements.

The CCG also wishes to develop a limited pilot for Personal Health Budgets for patients who currently use a range of NHS services, but have, to date, found these interventions to be unsuccessful or ineffective. Over the next few weeks, the CCG will consult stakeholders to see how a pilot can be developed for this group of patients which may also help inform future commissioning intentions.

Our approach to developing and implementing the local offer will be in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders including the public, service users, London Borough of Barnet, health service providers and voluntary sector organisations within the borough.

Can I have a personal health budget as well as a personal budget for social care and support?

Yes. If you already have a personal budget for care and support from social services and your NHS team agrees, you can also have a personal health budget if you are eligible for NHS Continuing Care.

Do I have to have a personal health budget?

No. If having a personal health budget does not work for you, your local NHS will provide the care you need as it has always done.

What is the difference between a personal health budget, a personal budget, an individual budget and a direct payment?

  • A personal health budget is for your NHS healthcare and support needs
  • A personal budget is for your social care and support needs
  • An individual budget includes your social care and support needs plus other funding, such as independent living
  • A direct payment is one way of managing these budgets, where you get the cash to buy the agreed care and support you need.

How can I get a personal health budget?

If you would like to apply for a personal health budget, or would like to find out whether you might be eligible then please contact us:


Further information about personal health budgets

There is lots of information available on personal health budgets. Some useful links are below:

  • NHS England has a dedicated website section for Personal Health Budgets
  • Everything you need to know about Personal Health Budgets - visit NHS England's frequently asked questions section
  • Understanding Personal Health Budgets - download a leaflet
  • Understanding Personal Health Budgets - download an Easy Read leaflet
  • NHS Choices - find out more about Personal Health Budgets, how to get started and managing your Personal Health Budget
  • Visit people hub website, where people with a Personal Health Budget and their families and carers can talk about their Personal Health Budget experiences.