If you have care and support needs then you may be eligible to receive a budget to meet your needs.

This is known as a Personal Budget and is the amount of money allocated by the local authority to meet your assessed needs.

You can decide to manage your Personal Budget in different ways. The budget can be:

  • managed by the council (a notional budget)
  • managed by a third party (a managed budget)
  • taken as a Direct Payment
  • a combination of these options.

Sense has produced easy-to-follow guidance on Personal Budgets which you can read here.

What are Direct Payments?

A Direct Payment is money given directly to a person with support needs by the Social Services department of their local council. Many people with support needs choose this option as it gives you greater choice and control over your care and support.

Watch a video where Katy describes how receiving a Direct Payment has transformed her life (Credit: PA Pool)

Many people who receive a Direct Payment choose to directly employ Personal Assistants who provide care and support in their home. Other people use their Direct Payment to buy agency care services.

Sense has produced a detailed information on Direct Payments which you can read here.

Personal Health Budgets

Personal Health Budgets work in a similar way but the money comes from the NHS rather than the local authority. If you receive a Personal Health Budget and are based in West Sussex then you can get free help by using our Information and Advice Team.

What is a Personal Health Budget?

A Personal Health Budget is an amount of money, planned and agreed between you and your local NHS team, which is allocated to support your health and wellbeing needs.

The aim of a Personal Health Budget is to give you more choice and control over the money spent on meeting your care needs, allowing you to select treatments and services that are most appropriate for you. You can receive a Personal Health Budget as a Direct Payment.

If you receive your Personal Health Budget as a Direct Payment the money is paid directly to you so that you can to buy the care and support you and your local NHS team decide you need.

Currently Personal Health Budgets are only available to  adults with Continuing Healthcare needs, and to children and young people who Continuing Care needs.

The NHS is piloting how Personal Health Budgets can be used to support people with other kinds of support needs, such as End of Life care, and are expanding the use of Personal Health Budgets nationally. Read about Independent Lives work on this here.

Watch a video explaining Personal Health Budgets in more detail (Credit: National Skills Academy for Health)