People who have been detained under certain sections of the Mental Health Act (not section 2) may be eligible for free health and support after they leave hospital. This is known as Section 117 after-care. If they are eligible for this, they have the right to a personal health budget (PHB).
A personal health budget is an amount of money that is spent on meeting a person’s health and wellbeing needs. It is planned and agreed between the person (or someone chosen to represent them) and their local NHS team. A personal health budget lets people manage their own healthcare needs in a way that suits them. It can be spent on different things, like treatments, equipment and personal care.
It is similar to a personal budget, which lets people manage and pay for their social care needs.
Who is eligible for a PHB?
The right to have a personal health budget applies to people who are:
- adults receiving NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) NHS-funded long-term health and personal care provided outside hospital
- children receiving NHS continuing healthcare
- people who are referred and meet the eligibility criteria of their local wheelchair service and people who are already registered with the wheelchair service when they need a new wheelchair or specialist buggy, either because of a change in clinical needs or the condition of the current chair. These people will be eligible for a personal wheelchair budget.
- people with mental health problems who are eligible for section 117 after-care as a result of being detained under certain sections of the Mental Health Act (this does not include detention under section 2 of the Act).
If an individual is not in a group that has a right to a personal health budget, but they are interested in receiving one, they can contact NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
How is a PHB worked out?
If an individual is eligible for a personal health budget, then together with their NHS team they will develop a personalised care and support plan. The plan sets out their personal health and wellbeing needs, the health outcomes they want to achieve, the amount of money in the budget and how they are going to spend it.
PHB’s cannot be spent on gambling, debt repayment, alcohol, tobacco, or anything illegal. Emergency care, medicines and the care from a GP is separate and will not need to be paid for from the PHB budget.
For further information on PHBs please visit the NHSE Personal health budgets in NHS Continuing Healthcare and continuing care for children webpage.