NHS Continuing Healthcare is a complete package of on-going care provided to adults aged 18 years or over, who have physical or mental health and wellbeing needs which have arisen as the result of disability, accident or illness. The package of care is arranged and funded solely by the NHS, and is therefore free at the point of delivery.

A personal health budget is an amount of money to support your identified health and wellbeing needs, planned and agreed between you and your local NHS team. Personal health budgets have been introduced by the NHS to help people to meet their health and wellbeing needs in a way that best suits them. The aim is to give people with long-term conditions and disabilities greater choice and control over the healthcare and support they receive.

They have been piloted in a number of places across England and, from April 2014, anyone receiving NHS continuing healthcare had a right to ask for a personal health budget. The ‘right to ask’ has become a ‘right to have’ from October 2014.

Together with your NHS team you will develop a care plan. The plan sets out your personal health and wellbeing needs, the health outcomes you want to achieve, the amount of money in the budget and how you are going to spend it. You can use a personal health budget to pay for a wide range of items and services, including therapies, personal care and equipment. This will allow you more choice and control over the health services and care you receive and aims to improve the patient experience by delivering care in the most appropriate setting and by the provider of their choice.

You don’t have to change any healthcare or support that is working well for you just because you get a personal health budget, but if something isn’t working, you can change it.