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 Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees CCG is thinking of expanding them in 2016/17.

Personal Health Budgets statement


We’re very proud of the work NHS staff do every day in Hartlepool and Stockton. 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

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 Hartlepool and Stockton 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 Hartlepool and Stockton?

Eligibility for a PHB is determined by national legislation, along with local health needs, financial constraints and other factors. Within Hartlepool and Stockton, 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. For the over-65s with long-term conditions, we’re piloting integrated budgets in Stockton. For some people that could include PHBs.

And 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 Hartlepool and Stockton 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

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


Further Reading and information

NHS Choices – about personal health budgets  (external site)

NHS Choices – real stories of personal health budgets  (external site)

NHS England – about personal health budgets  (external site)