Personal Health Budgets


On this page we’ll explain what a Personal Health Budget (PHB) is, how you can get in touch if you’d like to enquire about them, and how South Tees CCG is thinking of expanding them in 2016/17.


We’re very proud of the work NHS staff do every day in South Tees. They do a fantastic job of caring for people across the area. And most of the time, the people they care for are very happy with the support they receive.
But we also know that sometimes what our staff can give isn’t what people feel they need. That’s why we’re doing a lot of work around trying to personalise care for people. PHBs are one way we can do that.

Personalising care really just means working with you to identify what things you want to achieve and doing our best to tailor the support we give you in order to help you do that.

Personal Health Budgets (PHB)

PHBs take this a step further. In essence, they look at the money the NHS is spending on you or the one you care for, and then ask the question, “Could we spend this money in better way?”

PHBs have been available for some people in South Tees since 2009 and enable a person to talk to their local NHS team about what is important to them, and to agree ways to support their identified health and wellbeing needs. The aim is to give people greater choice and control over the healthcare and support they receive.

PHBs can pay for a wide range of items and services, including therapies, personal care and equipment, allowing more choice and control over the health services and care an individual receives, and the way he or she receives it. Really, you can be as imaginative as you like, as long as it meets your health and wellbeing needs and have been agreed with your NHS team.

Who can have a personal health budget in South Tees?

Eligibility for a PHB is determined by national legislation, along with local health needs, financial constraints and other factors. Within South Tees, we are expanding PHBs and from April 2016 the following groups of people will be eligible to apply for one:

  • Children receiving NHS continuing care (CC), including children with special educational needs and disabilities as part of their EHC plans (EHCP)
  • Adults receiving NHS continuing health care
  • Adults or children with a learning disability and/or autism who have complex needs or who display behaviour that challenges
  • People with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • People with Long Term Neurological Conditions
  • People with Chronic pain

But we’re also looking at other areas that would benefit from PHBs. In 2016/17, we’re looking at those eligible for S117 Mental Health Act Aftercare, and hope to be able to offer PHBs for these individuals later in the year.

There may be other groups of people who would really benefit from PHBs, and we’ll be asking for the thoughts and ideas of the people in South Tees throughout the year. Please get in touch if you’d like to be involved.

Key points about PHBs

  • NHS values still hold – no one will pay their own money to get the services they need or be denied essential treatment as a result of having a personal health budget
  • Having a personal health budget does not entitle someone to more services, more expensive services, or preferential access to NHS services
  • Services should be safe and effective. Using them should be a positive experience
  • PHBs should help people get a service from the NHS that best suits them
  • The individual should have as much control over decisions as appropriate. Support is available for people to enable them to make choices and decisions regarding their health and wellbeing
  • No one will have to get their services through a PHB if they do not want to

Personal Health Budgets-  Children and Young people

A child or a young person aged up to 18 years of age in receipt of Children’s Continuing Care (CCC) or a young person over the age of 18 years in receipt of Continuing Healthcare (CHC) have the legal right to a personal health budget (PHB). A PHB details the support an individual needs to meet their health and wellbeing needs and all children and young people who are eligible for children’s continuing care are offered this option. A support plan is devised in partnership with the child, young person and their carers to outline their health outcomes and the support required to achieve them.

Children and young people in receipt of an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan have the option to request a personal health budget for support to meet their health outcomes outlined in their EHC plan. Children and young people in receipt of an EHC plan do not have the legal right to a personal health budget and the CCG can decline the request if existing commissioned services can meet the health needs of the child or young person.

Due to the historic way in which health services have been commissioned, the CCG has to consider how we can give you a PHB whilst ensuring the service or services you have requested are not already commissioned through NHS arrangements to ensure we do not double fund services.

When we receive a PHB request we look at alternative ways of meeting your needs such as; why does the service available not meet your needs i.e. does the service you are requesting have restricted opening hours or delivery locations which means it cannot meet your needs. By working with the provider we can look to improve these elements and meet the needs of the local population in a flexible manner.

As we move forward, routinely review services and through working with our providers we will look at how services are funded and this make agreeing more Personal Health Budget’s easier for children and young people who are have an EHC plan.

Personal Wheelchair Budgets (PWBs)

We are also in the early stages of developing a Personal Wheelchair Budgets offer, which will allow people with long-term wheelchair needs to have greater choice and control over their wheelchair provision. This will operate in a similar way to Personal Health Budgets. More information is available on NHS England’s website (click here).

Contact Us

For more information about personal health budgets please contact the Personal Health Budgets and Care Management Team on 01642 746982 or email:

Further Reading and information

NHS Choices – about personal health budgets
NHS Choices – real stories of personal health budgets
NHS England – about personal health budgets