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NHS Barnsley CCG works closely with its partners and the public to develop services which put patients and carers at their heart. Here in Barnsley, we are leading the way in developing and commissioning services which are integrated and based on the individual’s needs and preferences.  

Personal Health Budgets

Personal health budgets are a way of personalising care, based around what matters to people and their individual strengths and needs. They increase a person’s choice, control and flexibility about how their identified needs are met. It isn’t new money, but a different way of spending health funding to meet the needs of an individual.

A personal health budget is an amount of money used to meet the identified health and wellbeing needs of an individual, which is planned and agreed between the individual, or their representative, and the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). At the centre of a personal health budget is the person receiving services and their care and support plan. This plan helps people to identify their health and wellbeing goals, supported by their local NHS team, and sets out how the budget will be spent to enable them to reach their goals.

Who can get a Personal Health Budget?

Adults who are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding and children in receipt of continuing care have had a legal right to have a personal health budget since October 2014. Since April 2019, NHS England expects that unless there are exceptional circumstances everyone living in their own home who is in receipt of NHS CHC funding will have a personal health budget.

NHS Barnsley CCG is committed to supporting people who may benefit from a more personal and flexible approach to health care support and delivery and we aim to extend the offer of personal health budgets to other groups of people with complex needs.

For further information please see Frequently Asked Questions or contact Kensa Morgan, personal health budget lead or our personal health budget business support team on telephone 01226 433658 or email

Additional support and advice is available at You could also watch this short film by NHS England for an introduction to personal health budgets in continuing healthcare.


A guide to NHS continuing health care including personal health budgets in Easy Read format is available here



What are the essential parts of a Personal Health Budget?

The person with the personal health budget (or their representative) will:

  • be able to choose the health and wellbeing outcomes they want to achieve, in agreement with a healthcare professional
  • know how much money they have for their health care and support
  • be enabled to create their own care plan, with support if they want it
  • be able to choose how their budget is held and managed, including the right to ask for a direct payment
  • be able to spend the money in ways and at times that make sense to them, as agreed in their plan
  • have enough money in the budget to meet their agreed health and wellbeing outcomes.

How can a Personal Health Budget be managed?

Personal health budgets can be managed in three ways, or a combination of them:

A notional budget:

You will not have the responsibility of managing your budget; we will do this for you. We will tell you the amount of money available to meet your health and wellbeing needs. We will discuss and agree with you the services you require and we will organise this and make payments on your behalf.

A third-party arrangement:

An organisation independent of both the person and the NHS commissioner (for example an independent user trust or a voluntary organisation) is responsible for and holds the money on the person’s behalf. They then work in partnership with the person and their family to ensure the care they arrange and pay for with the budget meets the agreed outcomes in the care plan.

A direct payment for health care:

The amount of money we have agreed is available to meet your care needs will be paid to you directly. You will be responsible for organising, managing and paying for your care and services. There are restrictions as to what you can spend this money on and you will need to keep records to show how your money has been spent.

What are the stages of the Personal Health Budgets process?

  • Making contact and getting clear information
  • Understanding the person's health and wellbeing needs
  • Working out the amount of money available
  • Making a care plan
  • Organising care and support
  • Monitoring and review.

Reasons why a Personal Health Budget plan will not be agreed

By regulation PHBs cannot be used for:

  • Something that is illegal
  • Gambling, alcohol, or tobacco
  • Emergency or acute services
  • The majority of primary care services (including visits and assessments of GPs)
  • Debt repayment

As commissioners of Health and Social Care, Barnsley CCG is responsible for the proper and ethical use of public, or taxpayers, money. If someone has deliberately spent their budget in ways not agreed with the NHS team, they can be asked to repay the money to the CCG.

Barnsley CCG will not agree a person’s plan if we think the plan is likely to do harm to somebody, if the package of care or cost of the package of care is disproportionate to the level of need identified through the assessment process, or if identified needs are not met through the plan.  Feedback would be given on these plans so that they could be further developed.

Why introduce Personal Health Budgets?

The way we need NHS services to support us is changing. Long-term health conditions - rather than illnesses susceptible to a one-off cure - now take 70% of the health service budget. This includes the long-term needs of people with mental health conditions, learning disabilities and children and young people.

At the same time many (but not all) people wish to be more informed and involved with their own care, having a different relationship between people with lived experience of conditions and health care specialists and other professionals, and offering opportunities for choice and flexibility to gain better health by improving prevention and supporting people to self-care.

In response to the positive findings from early PHB pilot sites showing significantly improved outcomes for people who have accessed PHBs, NHS England are keen to expand access to personal health budgets across England. The NHS Five Year Forward View and NHS Long Term Plan ambitions are dependent on developing personalised services. The focus of personalised care is to move the conversation from “what happens to you” to “what matters to you” and to provide choice and flexibility to meet people’s needs by using outcome focused, person centred care plans.

What are the benefits a Personal Health Budget can deliver?

Patients receiving a PHB often report the following benefits:

  • Better relationship between the carer and the person receiving support
  • Better social life for the carer and the patient
  • Better relationships with the wider family network
  • Better relationships between the family and the people being paid to care
  • A recent evaluation showed that a PHB can improve healthcare by
  • Reducing the number of times people need to attend outpatient appointments
  • Reducing the number of times people need to see their GP
  • Reducing unplanned hospital admissions

Do I have to have a PHB if I don’t want one?

No: They are optional.

Personal health budgets should help people who may not always benefit from standard NHS services to get a service offer that can meet their needs.

All NHS care and support people receive should be safe and effective and it should be a positive experience. 

People should have as much control over decisions as they want.

How do I get a Personal Health Budget?

Speak to your named health professional for advice or contact PHB Lead Kensa Morgan or PHB Business Support Gemma Dunne on telephone 01226 433658 or email