New Report: Personal Health Budgets for Continuing Healthcare

A new paper has been published by In Control highlighting the 10 features an effective process for personal health budgets for continuing healthcare.

The paper was funded by the North West Transition Alliance and produced in partnership with NHS North West. It is part of a broader programme of work with primary care trust (PCT) clusters in the North West to help support them for roll out of personal health budgets in 2014. It draws on the learning of pilot sites in the region and nationally to outline the 10 features of an effective personal health budget process within NHS continuing healthcare.

Author of the report, Vidhya Alakeson, comments: "Through our work in the North West we have established that the current pilot programme has not been driven by a blueprint for how personal health budgets should be implemented and, therefore, there is a significant amount of variation in how the process has been designed and the outcomes have been achieved for people.

"In identifying the features of an effective process, the report intends to inform future implementation to ensure that personal health budgets deliver the best possible outcomes for individuals and families.

More than 70 PCTs have been involved in piloting personal health budgets over the past three years, of which 20 are taking part in an in-depth, controlled evaluation. Pilot sites have implemented personal health budgets across a wide range of long-term conditions, including mental health problems, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and within certain service areas and funding services such as maternity services, end of life care and continuing healthcare.

Based on early evidence of positive impacts, the Secretary of State for Health committed to roll out the right to ask for a personal health budget in continuing healthcare from April 2014 in advance of the official publication of the national evaluation in October 2012. The 2012/13 NHS Operating Framework, therefore, instructs PCT clusters to prepare for roll-out. Local implementation of personal health budgets should be included as part of the planning for the transition from PCT clusters to clinical commissioning groups.

The 10 features of an effective personal health budget process for NHS continuing healthcare highlighted in the report include:

  1. A personal health budget covers the full range of an individual's health or social care needs
  2. The full continuing healthcare package is included within a personal health budget
  3. Individual's know how much they have to spend before they start planning
  4. The indicative budget process is based on needs not hours of care
  5. Clinicians are involved from the very beginning but do not dominate
  6. Adequate support is available to personal health budget holders for support planning
  7. The support plan is written in an individual's own words and is not a clinical care plan
  8. Individuals are in charge of decisions about training
  9. The approval process is light touch and transparent
  10. There are adequate options available for how the personal health budget is held

"Personal health budgets require significant culture change in the NHS to succeed but many of the pilot sites have demonstrated that this is possible. In those areas that have gone the furthest, personal health budgets have become the norm in continuing healthcare - they are how continuing healthcare is done locally, although the option not to have a personal health budget remains," continues Vidhya.

The paper is available to download below.

Vidhya Alakeson has written a blog post for us on the report and this can be read here.

We are also hosting a webinar on the paper on 7 November at 10am. The session will be presented by Vidhya. To register for a place, please email

This week we have also published a paper on the implementation of social care personal budgets in the North West.

1 comment for “New Report: Personal Health Budgets for Continuing Healthcare”

  1. Gravatar of Elizabet.PickardElizabet.Pickard
    posted 30 July 2018 at 15:15:06

    Urgent help needed to care for my disabled son especially with transport as I am ill myself

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Last Updated : 21 September 2012. Page Author: Laura Bimpson.