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Personal health budget

A personal health budget is a sum of money allocated by the NHS. It can be used by someone with a disability or long-term illness towards treatment, equipment or personal care.

Anyone who is receiving ‘continuing health care’ has the right to ask for a personal health budget. This includes children and young people.

The amount of money will be agreed between the NHS and person who needs continuing health care. In the case of a child, the sum is agreed with their parents or carers. This funding will be part of the person’s long-term healthcare plan.

‘Continuing health care’ is not defined in law. For adults, it generally means health and personal care that is paid for by the NHS but provided outside of hospital. For example in the home or in the community.

For a child, the situation is slightly different. Most of a child’s day-to-day care will be provided at home by their family. So ‘continuing health care’ will also mean support provided to the child and family by children’s services and education, as well as the NHS.

At present, a child with an education health and care plan does not have an automatic right to a personal health budget. However, national guidance encourages Clinical Commissioning Groups (the NHS bodies responsible for organising local health services) to extend personal health budgets to other groups of patients (i.e. not just those receiving continuing health care). This includes children and young people who have an education, health and care plan.

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