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Personal Health Budgets

Personal health budgets give people with long term conditions and disabilities more choice and control over the health care and support they receive.

A personal health budget is an amount of money, provided by the NHS, to support your health and wellbeing needs. Personal health budgets are a way of helping you to be involved in discussions and decisions about your care.

Your care and support plan is central to this. It will help you to decide how your budget is spent and how it can be used to meet your health and wellbeing outcomes.

Your personal health budget can be spent on any service that is set out in your care plan. There are certain things that you cannot spend your personal health budget on. We can support you to identify equipment, items and services that you can purchase from your budget in order to meet your identified outcomes.

At HomeCareDirect, we offer a personal health budget service described by the NHS as the third party approach. We can hold the money for you in your own managed bank account and help you decide how to spend it.

We will then ensure that all the admin is taken care of on your behalf, so that you can concentrate on making the most out of your budget. All the services described on our website are designed to help make directing your own support via a personal health budget as easy as possible. Please have a read through and give us a call if you have any questions.

At the bottom of the page, we’ve included a couple of handy guides to personal health budgets from the NHS that will provide you with further information.

There’s also a wealth of information on personal health budgets at NHS England’s website – www.england.nhs.uk/healthbudgets

Understanding Personal Health Budgets – Download PDF (876 KB)

Personal Health Budgets Guide – Third party budgets: the families’ perspective – Download PDF (879 KB)

What is NHS Continuing Healthcare?

NHS continuing healthcare is the name given to a package of care that is arranged and funded solely by the NHS for individuals who are not in hospital who have complex ongoing healthcare needs.

Where is NHS Continuing Healthcare provided?

If you are eligible, you can receive NHS continuing healthcare:

  • In your own home:

The NHS will pay for healthcare, such as services from a community nurse or specialist therapist, and personal care, such as help with bathing, dressing and laundry

  • In a care home:

As well as healthcare and personal care, the NHS will pay for your care home fees, including board and accommodation

NHS continuing healthcare is free, unlike social and community care services provided by local authorities for which a charge may be made, depending on your income and savings.

Who may eligible for NHS continuing healthcare?

To be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare you must:

  • Be over 18 and
  • Have a complex medical condition and substantial and ongoing care needs and
  • You must have a ‘primary health need’, which means that your main or primary need for care must relate to your health.

Eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare does not depend on:

  • A specific health condition, illness or diagnosis
  • Who provides your care
  • Where your care and support is provided

How do I find out if I am eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare?

To find out whether you are entitled to have your long-term care provided by the NHS you can have an assessment of your needs. Health or social care professionals should seek your consent (or consent from your representative) before they complete any assessments with you to ensure that you can make an informed decision about the process.

Step One – Continuing Healthcare Checklist Tool

The first step for most people is to have an initial assessment with a health or social care professional, (who ideally knows you and your needs well) using a screening tool called the Checklist Tool.

The Checklist Tool will indicate whether or not you should be referred for a more in-depth assessment of your needs. The Checklist Tool helps health and social care professionals to identify if your care needs may be of a level or type that could entitle you to NHS continuing healthcare.

The Checklist Tool is usually completed when a health or social care professional, meets with you to assess or review your health or social care needs.

For example: A Nurse or Doctor could complete the Checklist Tool with you before you leave hospital or a Social Worker could complete the screening with you when carrying out a community care assessment, usually when you are at home.

Your local Clinical Commissioning Group will confirm with you in writing whether or not you will be referred for a full assessment for NHS continuing healthcare.

You should be fully involved in the assessment and decision-making process. Your views about your care and support needs for will be taken into account. If you feel that you need help to explain your views, you may want to ask a friend or relative for support. You can also access support from a specialist Continuing Healthcare Advocate to assist you through the process.

Step Two- Decision Support Tool

If the Checklist Tool indicates that you may be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, the person who completed it with you will contact your local Clinical Commissioning Group to arrange a full assessment of all your care needs.

Your assessment should be carried out by a multidisciplinary team and your needs will usually be recorded in a document called the Decision Support Tool.

With your permission, the assessment will include contributions from all the health and social care professionals involved in your care, to give an overall picture of your needs. This could include professionals such as a Social Worker, District Nurse or Carers. In some cases, more detailed specialist assessments may be required from these professionals.

Your views and those of any family or friends that support you should also be taken into consideration.

The Decision Support Tool is used to decide whether your main or primary care needs relate to your health, by looking at different areas of your care needs including:

  • Behaviour
  • Cognition
  • Psychological and emotional needs
  • Communication
  • Mobility
  • Nutrition
  • Continence
  • Skin
  • Breathing
  • Drug therapies and medication
  • Altered states of consciousness

For individuals who need an urgent package of care because their condition is deteriorating rapidly, the Fast Track Tool may be used instead. This enables the Clinical Commissioning Group to arrange for care to be provided as quickly as possible.

Step Three- Following the Assessment

The multidisciplinary team will make a recommendation to the Clinical Commissioning Group about your eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare based on the evidence and information collected about your needs.

If you qualify for NHS continuing healthcare and you wish to continue living at home or with a relative you can choose to receive your care and support through a personal health budget, which offers you greater choice and control over the care that you need.

What if my care needs change?

Your care needs will be reviewed regularly to ensure that you are receiving the appropriate level of care and that you continue to meet the eligibility criteria for NHS continuing healthcare.

If I receive continuing healthcare funding, will it affect my benefits?

If you are receiving continuing healthcare funding and you are living at home, with a friend or relative then your benefits will not be affected.

If you receive continuing healthcare funding and you are living in a care home then your Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance is likely to be affected. In addition, if you receive other means-tested benefits such as Income Support or Pension Credit, if you receive a disability premium as part of your benefits, this may also be affected.

If your care needs change, there is a range of ways that your care needs may be met and/or funded either by the NHS or your Local Authority.


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