NHSE launches grant programme for personal health budgets

NHS England has launched a programme for the voluntary and community sector to help them 'gear up' for personal health budgets so they have the knowledge, capacity and expertise to inform their local communities about personal health budgets.

From April 2014, people eligible for NHS continuing healthcare will have the 'right to ask' their clinical commissioning group (CCG) for a personal health budget and from October 2014, they will have the 'right to have' one. However most people don't know what a personal health budget is, let alone that they will soon be entitled to have one.

We know from recent evaluation of personal health budgets that they can help give people a better quality of life, better health outcomes and help keep them out of hospital. This is why we want to ensure that as many people as possible are aware of personal health budgets, know how to get one, and importantly know what they can expect from the NHS.

To help do this, NHS England has launched this programme for the voluntary and community sector. The aim is that this will not just increase demand for personal health budgets but will ensure that personal health budgets are delivered well, as people will be better informed about how their budget should work for them and what service they should expect from the NHS.

This programme involves the organisations receiving a small grant so they have capacity to undertake work in this area; taking part in a development programme to learning and share with others; and being part of a national network of organisations.

In Control has been commissioned by NHS England to manage the small grant programme on its behalf and work with People Hub. In Control will also be undertaking a linked piece of work providing a range of information material on personal health budgets that can be utilised by voluntary and community sector organisations which will form part of the wider development programme and network.

How much funding is available?

We will be looking to fund around 30 organisations with approximately £10,000 available to each.

What type of organisations should apply?

We are looking for those local, regional and national voluntary and community sector organisations that can connect to people who might be eligible for a personal health budget, in particular those that have established networks and are organisations that people would naturally turn to for help and information on matters such as this. We are also looking for organisations that already have a good understanding of personal budgets and have already undertaken some work helping to provide information and advice.

As the level of grant being allocated to each organisation is fairly small, we expect that this will be most beneficial to small organisations and community groups. You need to be registered as a charity or community interest company, or have a statutory sector organisation partner who will hold the funding for you.

What can the funding be used for?

We want to equip voluntary and community sector organisations with more knowledge around personal health budgets so that they can be ready to tell people about them as more people become interested.

The aim of the grant is that it will help give organisations a small amount of resource to provide some individual advice and support to eligible individuals and families who want a personal health budget. This might be to help get people access to a personal health budget, including advocacy and mediation support for people who encounter some resistance when attempting to get one. The support you provide will help people get a good sense of what should be expected from the NHS in line with policy and national best practice. It won't necessarily take people through the full process of getting a budget such as help to plan support or to manage a budget - this support should be provided or funded by CCGs.

This grant programme is part of a wider programme looking at supporting the third sector and CCGs in the delivery of personal health budgets. Successful applicants to this programme will also be expected to attend an NHS England led development programme which will provide information on personal budgets and NHS Continuing Healthcare as well as enabling people to establish wider connections and networks across the country. It is envisaged that this will involve six full days. The sessions will be free to attend but you should factor in your time and travel expenses into your application and information on how you intend to use your grant.

How will organisations be selected?

We are inviting organisations to complete a short application form downloadable below which will enable us to determine which organisations would be able to utilise the funding in the best way and that there is a good mix of organisations from across England, serving a representative mix of people.

A selection committee comprising of representatives from NHS England, In Control and People Hub will review the applications. They will be looking for:

  • Evidence that you are an organisation that people eligible for continuing healthcare naturally turn to for help and information.
  • A good understanding of self-directed support, personalisation in health and social care, including its history and values base.
  • Evidence on what your organisation has done so far to help people get social care or personal health budgets and how well your organisation can work constructively with the NHS and social services.
  • Good ideas and firm plans about how your organisation could support people who might benefit from a personal health budget to access information about them.
  • Good ideas about how you might reach those 'seldom seen or heard' people and those at risk of exclusion.
  • Information on how you would monitor access to information and uptake of personal health budgets, the impact this has on people's lives and how you would report this back so learning can be shared with others.
  • Organisations with a good ability to connect with people who would benefit from a personal health budget but are least likely to access one.

Process for applications

If you have any questions about this grant you will need to submit these by email to  by 12 noon on the 14th March

Organisations will need to complete the application form below and send this electronically to with the subject title: NHS Grant: Gearing up for Personal Health Budgets no later than 12 noon on 28th March 2014. Word documents will be accepted but we advise you to submit your application as a PDF document to avoid any formatting issues.

We will notify successful applicants by the 7th April 2014.

We anticipate that there will be a lot of interest in this grant programme and we will not be able to fund all applications. We hope that NHS England will be able to run similar programmes in the next financial year but this is not yet confirmed. In addition we would be very interested in supporting and building relationships with organisations who are interested in this area but are not successful on this occasion.

For more information about personal health budgets please visit:

Last Updated : 26 February 2014. Page Author: Laura Bimpson.