Personal Health Budgets

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At Interserve Healthcare we have experience in managing care funded through Personal Health Budgets (PHBs) and helping our clients and their family to understand and manage their PHB.

What is a Personal Health Budget (PHB)?

A Personal Health Budget (PHB) is an amount of money to support a person’s identified healthcare and wellbeing needs. Care is planned and agreed between the person or their representative and the local NHS team.

Where does the money come from?

The funding comes from your CCG and, in cases where care and support is joint funded, from your council.  A PHB is not extra money.  It is funding to be used to meet your health and care needs in a way that suits you.

Are there different Kinds of PHBs?

The budgets can work in three ways:

  1. Direct Payment
  2. Third Party PHB
  3. Notional PHB

What is a Direct Healthcare Payment?

This is where you, your representative or one of the approved Direct Payment support services holds the PHB funds to buy the care and support you and your local NHS team has agreed you need.  For audit purposes you or your support service supplier will have to show what the money has been spent on.  If you choose to use personal assistants you will be the employer and will buy and manage them yourself with a Direct Payment support service where required.

What is a third party PHB?

This is where a Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered provider (third party) holds the money for you and helps you decide what you need.  After you have agreed this with your local NHS team, the provider buys the care and support you have chosen, and they become the employer.

What is a notional budget?

With a notional budget no money changes hands.  You find out how much money is available and then talk to your local NHS team about the different ways to spend that money on meeting your needs.  They will then arrange the agreed care and support.

What can the money be spent on?

PHBs are intended to be used for a range of services to help meet people’s goals, such as personal care and, in some cases selected equipment.  People will not pay for emergency care or normal care from a family doctor from their PHB budget.  People are not allowed to spend the money on gambling, debt repayment, alcohol, tobacco or anything unlawful.

You will need to show what the PHB is going to be spent on in your Care and Support Plan which will need to be agreed by your NHS Team.

The evaluation report is available at


If you have any questions or would like to discuss Personal Health Budgets in more detail please contact one of our Account Managers.


Sarah’s story

Sarah*, who has complex care needs and lives in Shropshire with her family, was awarded a PHB of £3300 per week. Interserve Healthcare was recommended as a provider that could supply care to Sarah and to help her mum to manage the PHB.

Firstly, Interserve Healthcare arranged an assessment of Sarah’s lifestyle, care needs and circumstances, with our branch paediatric nurse. From this assessment we gained a clear understanding of her needs and we discussed with the family a plan to choose care hours to meet Sarah’s needs and fit with her family’s lifestyle. We all worked together to create a care plan which offered Sarah the best and most relevant care.

The local client care manager and team in Shropshire, selected and introduced trained carers to Sarah and her family. Her care started quickly and smoothly. Sarah’s care is overseen by her local team and branch nurse.

Interserve Healthcare has supplied care for Sarah, funded by a PHB since 2015. The family are reassured that Sarah receives high quality and consistent care, through regular review meetings and a low turnover of staff.

*name has been changed.

To discuss arranging care using a Personal Health Budget please contact one of our Account Managers.