Personalising care

What is a Personal Health Budget?

Personal Health Budgets (PHB) are a way of offering people more choice, flexibility and control over the care and support they receive from the NHS. A Personal Health Budget is an amount of money paid to an individual by the NHS to support their health and wellbeing needs.

A PHB is a way of personalising care, based around what matters to each person and their individual strengths. They are provided by freeing up money from existing services in order to provide a sum of money to an individual to meet their health care needs in a different way.


Why do we have PHBs?

A PHB gives people more control over where NHS money is spent to meet their health and care needs. Everyone in Northamptonshire has a stake in the county’s health and care services so it is important to allow our community to select the most appropriate treatments for them.

Our vision for PHBs is to enable people with long term conditions and disabilities to have greater choice, flexibility and control over the healthcare and support they receive.


How do they work?

Healthcare professionals work with patients to develop a PHB care plan. The plan outlines how the budget will be spent to help the individual better manage their care.

Once a personal care plan has been agreed, the NHS money in a Personal Health Budget can be managed in three different ways:

  • Direct payments – The money is transferred directly to the individual. They can then buy the services agreed in their care plan.
  • A notional budget – The NHS holds the money and provides the chosen services to the individual.
  • A budget held by a third-party – A neutral organisation holds the money on behalf of the individual and the NHS and then provides the chosen services to the patient. 


Who can get a PHB?

People eligible for a PHB are:

  • Adults receiving NHS continuing healthcare (NHS-funded long-term health and personalised care provided outside of hospital)
  • Children receiving NHS continuing healthcare
  • People who are referred and meet the eligibility criteria of their local wheelchair service
  • People who are already registered with the wheelchair service when they need a new wheelchair or specialist buggy
  • People with mental health problems who are eligible for section 117 after-care as a result of being detained under certain sections of the Mental Health Act.

Individuals who do not fit into one of these groups can request a PHB by speaking to their GP.


What do I need to do to get one?

Individuals should talk to their local NHS team or GP to apply for a PHB. Care managers and GPs can offer professional advice and help with PHBs.

Even if a personal health budget is not appropriate, healthcare professionals can offer other options to make sure every individual gets the care and support they need.

To find out more contact the PHB team on


Useful links

Find Personal Health Budgets on the NHS England website

Visit the In Control charity website for advice and support