Personal Health Budgets

Personal Health Budgets in Kingston-information for patients and families

KCIL are offering a Personal Health Budget brokerage service for adults and children as well as support to set up a plan once it has been approved. Please contact us if you would like any further details.

What are Personal Health Budgets?

A Personal Health Budget (PHB) is a sum of NHS money available to meet the health and well-being needs of people with serious long-term illness or health conditions. The system for arranging Personal Health Budgets is run by Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group.

If you are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare and living at home you can request a PHB. This information leaflet covers PHBs for adults 18 years and over. There is a separate system for offering PHBs to children and young people and details about this can be obtained from contacts in Education, Social Care and Health.

What is the purpose of a personal health budget (PHB)?

The aim of PHBs is to offer people more choice and control over the way their care and support is arranged.

What can a personal health budget be spent on?

A PHB can be spent on support, services, equipment and activities that will help people achieve the health and wellbeing outcomes that are important to them. Examples of how you might choose to spend a PHB include:

  • Personal assistance to help with daily living and getting out and about.
  • Equipment, aids and adaptations to help with day to day tasks.
  • Activities that will help you become more active in the community and improve your physical and mental health.
  • Taking a break to give you and your carer some respite.
  • Support to do things yourself rather than someone else doing it for you e.g. shopping, cooking.

What you cannot spend a personal health budget on:

  • Primary health care including GP services.
  • General medical services including emergency and acute hospital services and surgery.
  • Optical, dental and other services which everyone has to pay for (unless exempt).
  • Prescription charges, which everyone has to pay for (unless exempt).
  • Vaccinations and health checks
  • District nursing and community health services such as wound care, tissue viability, continence advice, medicine management and postoperative treatment.
  • Intermediate care to prevent hospital admission or provide rehabilitation after hospital discharge.

You cannot use a PHB to cover the following costs:

  • Day to day living expenses such as food, rent utility bills etc.
  • Alcohol, tobacco, gambling and repaying debt.
  • What do I need to do if I want to consider a personal health budget?
  • If you are already eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare and have been receiving home care support services arranged by the NHS you can request a PHB when your needs are reviewed.
  • Reviews are normally arranged once a year or sooner that that if your needs change. You can ask the person who reviews your needs about a PHB.
  • If you have just been told that you are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare then you should receive information about PHBs when your eligibility is confirmed. For a OHB to be considered your condition must be stable.
  • If, for example, you are receiving reablement or rehabilitation and it is possible that your health status will improve, the process of discussing a PHB may be delayed until your condition is more stable.

What is the process for getting a personal health budget?

If you decide that you would like a personal health budget then the next step will be to develop your own care and support plan.

The plan describes the things that are important to you in your daily life, what is working well and what needs to change. By the time the plan is complete it should set out the type of support that will meet your needs and the resources to meet those needs.

A care coordinator will work with you to develop the plan and provide as much support as you need; they will discuss with you the size of the budget that could be available to meet your needs.

How will I receive my personal health budget?

You can receive your PHB in three different ways:

Direct payments

These are cash payments paid into a separate bank account that you manage yourself. There are rules about who can receive a direct payment and how it must be managed (there is a separate leaflet about direct payments that describes these). You can choose to take some of your PHB as a direct payment and some as a notional budget, see below.

Notional budget

If you do not want a direct payment then care and support can be arranged for you by your care coordinator from a range of available services.

A third party holds your budget

If there is a suitable organisation that agrees to hold your budget for you they can purchase care and support for you.



Kingston Centre for Independent Living (KCIL) has been a partner in the pilot of Personal Health Budgets (PHB) in Kingston during 2014.  KCIL provides support to adults who are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) and wish to receive a direct payment.

For more information, please look at their website: