Personal Health Budgets

A Personal Health Budget (PHB) is an amount of money to support a person’s identified health and well-being needs. A PHB application is planned and agreed between the person, their representative or, in the case of children, their families, and Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). It is not new money; it is money that would normally have been spent by the NHS on the person’s care but used more flexibly to meet their identified needs.

If you have a PHB, you will be able to use it for a range of things to help you meet your health and well-being goals. For example, therapies, personal care and equipment. You will have control over your care and can co-ordinate it in a manner which supports your lifestyle and well-being.

Local offer

The local offer in Trafford currently extends to:

  • Adults who are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding
  • Adults accessing support from the Community Learning Disability Team
  • Adults accessing support from the Community Mental Health Team
  • Adults accessing support from the Neurological Rehabilitation Team
  • Children and young people who are eligible for NHS Continuing Care (CC) funding
  • Children and young people (birth to 25) with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The PHB is likely to form part of their Personal Budget for their Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan.
  • Children and young people accessing services from the Complex and Additional Needs team (CAN)
  • Joint funded support and budgets for individuals that are eligible for both CCG and Social Care (Local Authority) funding

What can’t it be spent on?

You cannot spend the money on:

  • Anything illegal
  • Statutory acute services
  • Purchasing primary medical services provided by GP’s
  • Covering urgent or emergency treatment or admissions to hospital
  • Employing people in ways which breach employment regulations
  • Purchasing goods or services which do not meet agreed outcomes
  • Health assessments
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or counselling

Managing the money

A personal health budget can take three forms:

  • Notional budget – The money is held by Trafford CCG. You find out how much money is available and talk to your nurse or clinical case manager about the different ways to spend that money on meeting your needs. The CCG will make all payments on your behalf in line with your support plan.
  • Managed account held by a third party - A different organisation or trust holds the money for you, helps you decide what you need and then buys the services you have chosen.
  • Direct payment - You’ll receive a payment card to buy the services you and your nurse, or case manager, agree in your support plan. You have to show what you have spent it on, and keep records of your spending, but you buy and manage services yourself. A personal health budget is not the same as a direct payment.

What happens if I don’t spend the money?

We will occasionally look at how you are spending your money and you may be audited on a spot check basis. Towards the end of a year a full audit will be undertaken. Any money you do not use will be returned to Trafford CCG.


Who can support me through the process?

Trafford CCG works with a range of third sector organisations to ensure that patients and their families are well supported through the process of applying for, and managing, a PHB.

Support brokerage – support brokers work with you to help you find the support that is right for you. There are five organisations that currently provide this service for Trafford CCG:

  • Trafford Age UK, Trafford Centre for Independent Living (CIL), LMCP Care Link, Your Life Your Way and Imagine, Act and Succeed.

All brokerage services have received training to specifically support you with your PHB support plan, and they have a wide range of knowledge about local services, employment of personal assistants and the options for managing the money allocated in your budget.

Advocacy – Advocacy services help people, particularly those who are most vulnerable in society, to:

  • access information and services
  • be involved in decisions about their lives
  • explore choices and options
  • defend and promote their rights and responsibilities
  • speak out about issues that matter to them

There are a range of organisations that provide specific advocacy support in Trafford, co-ordinated through the Trafford Advocacy Service (TAS).  The partners, led by Trafford Centre for Independent Living (TCIL), include Rethink Mental Illness (Rethink), and Trafford Mental Health Advocacy Service (TMHAS), they all have a wide range of experience and have been providing advocacy support in Trafford for a number of years.

Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA)A statutory requirement, to support people, assessed as not having capacity to make decisions. This applies to particular decisions in people’s lives regarding; serious medical treatment, a change of accommodation, safeguarding adults from abuse, deprivation of liberty, and care reviews.

Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) - A statutory requirement, to support people who are detained under particular sections of the Mental Health Act, in order to help them understand, exercise their rights and ensure their involvement in treatment and care planning.

Independent Care Act Advocacy - A statutory requirement, to support people experiencing significant difficulties understanding and being involved in their; assessment, care plan, review or safeguarding enquiries.

General Advocacy - Support for disabled people or carers to make informed choices, and have their voices heard. Includes support for people with impairments or health conditions, learning disabilities, age related conditions, or mental health conditions.

Who can I speak to for more information and advice about PHBs?

Contact Trafford Healthwatch via email: or phone: 0300 999 0303, for further information.

For further information about advocacy in relation to Personal Health Budgets please contact Trafford Centre for Independent Living via email: or phone: 0161 850 0645