The aim of a Personal Health Budget is to give you more choice and control over the money spent on meeting your care needs, allowing you to select treatments and services that are most appropriate for you. You can receive a Personal Health Budget as a Direct Payment for healthcare.
As of April 2014, people receiving NHS Continuing Healthcare will have the right to ask for the option of a personal health budget. From October 2014, they will be entitled to receive one.
If you receive your Personal Health Budget as a Direct Payment the money is paid directly to you so that you can buy the care and support you and your local NHS team decide you need. You have to show what you have spent the money on, but you, or your representative, buy and manage services yourself.
A Personal Budget is the amount of money the local authority allocates for your care, based on its assessment of your needs.
You can be put in charge of this "budget" either by telling the local authority how you would like it spent, or by the council giving you the money so that you can directly pay for your own care (a direct payment).
Direct payments give you the most control over your care, and mean that if you are unhappy with the services you’re getting, you can decide to change who gives you the care services without the process of going through the local authority.
However, with this freedom comes the responsibility of accounting for how the budget is spent to ensure it is meeting your needs, and additional responsibilities if you decide to become an employer and hire a personal assistant with your direct payment.
You and your social worker / care manager will work together to create a care and support plan.
This plan details your care and support needs, and will be used to work out the value of your "personal budget".
Your support plan should consider:
● what's important to you, including your interests, lifestyle, personal tastes and the people in your life
● your hopes for the future, such as whether you'd like to study or take on more hobbies outside the home
● what limitations you currently have and how you want to change
● what you want to achieve by managing your own support
You will need to clarify how you will manage your money. If you choose to receive your personal budget as a direct payment, the local authority may pay the money straight into a bank account that you control (you must set up a new bank account to do this) or they may give you a pre-paid card.
Alternatively, you may prefer your personal budget to be managed by the local authority or by someone else, such as:
● a friend or family member (the local authority must agree to this)
● a broker, like AskJules Ltd.