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Personal Health Budget for Children and Young People

On this page you will find out information on Personal Health Budget (PHB) for Children & Young People. Additional details are featured in the External Links section.

What is a Personal Health Budget (PHB)?

A personal health budget (PHB) is an amount of money to support a person’s identified health and wellbeing needs, planned and agreed between the person and their local NHS Team. At the centre of the PHB is a care and support plan. This sets out the agreed health and wellbeing outcomes that the individual wants to achieve, and how the budget will be spent to help them.

Who can access a Personal Health Budget?

  • If your child/young person is under 18 and in receipt of continuing care, or over 18 and is eligible for Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding, they can access a personal health budget (PHB). This enables you to manage and control how they receive their care and support. 
  • Young people under 25 who do not have continuing care or CHC funding but have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), can also access a PHB.
  • Those who are under 25 with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) can also access a PHB if there is a gap in the services they are receiving, because their needs are outside of what can be commissioned by the Integrated Care Board (ICB)

How do Personal Health Budgets work?

Personal Health Budgets (PHBs) are a tool to support personalised care and may be offered as part of the ICBs (Integrated Care Board) focus on meeting a child/young person’s individual needs. It is important to note that these budgets will not be available to all patients, and that Personal Health Budgets are targeted at those with complex health needs.

Personal Health Budgets have been shown to help people children/young people’s health and wellbeing. They are just one way of providing more personalised support and have been found to be of particular benefit for those with complex needs, helping to reduce time in hospital and maintain independence.

The amount in someone’s personal health budget is based upon their personalised care and support plan. This plan helps people to identify their health and wellbeing outcomes, together with their local NHS team, and sets out how the budget will be spent to enable them to reach their goals and keep them healthy and safe.

Personal health budgets and personal budgets in social care both aim to give people more choice and control to meet their health or care and wellbeing needs. If someone receives a personal health budget and a personal budget for social care, then it may be possible to join the two budgets together to form a joint or pooled budget.

Managing a Personal Health Budget?

There are three ways you can manage your PHB:

Notional budget: No money changes hands. A budget is determined and, together with your NHS team, you decide on how best to spend it. They will then arrange the agreed care and support. Regular reviews will take place to ensure your personalised care and support plan is working well for you.

Third party budget: An organisation legally independent of both you and the NHS (for example, an independent user trust or a voluntary organisation) holds the money for you and pays for the care and support agreed in your personalised care and support plan.

Direct payment: The budget is transferred directly to you to buy the care and support you and your NHS team agree will meet your needs. You, or your representative, buy and manage services directly yourself. A regular review will take place to ensure that your personal health budget is meeting your needs and goals.

What can a Personal Health Budget be spent on?

A PHB can be spent on any care or services that are set out in the care and support plan that has been put together with the NHS Team. The plan then needs to be agreed by the ICB.

It is important to think through how you would like to use the budget to meet your health and wellbeing needs or your child/young person’s needs.

Examples of how a PHB can be used include:

  • Employing carers or personal assistants (PAs) to support children & young people receiving a PHB.
  • Paying for activities that help children & young people access in the community.
  • Equipment – such as wheelchairs.

What a personal Health Budget can’t be used for?

It cannot be spent on anything that is illegal, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, or debt repayment.

It cannot be used to buy Emergency Care - for example if someone in receipt of a personal health budget had an accident, they would go to A&E like everyone else - they would not use their personal health budget to arrange for example an x-ray or plaster a broken arm.

It also cannot buy Primary Care Services such as seeing a GP or Dental Treatment.

How do I find out more information?

If you would like to find out more or talk to someone about personal health budgets, please contact:

The Children and Young People’s Continuing Care Team
Black Country Integrated Care Board
Civic Centre
St Peters Square

Telephone: 01902 444615


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