Personal health budgets for mental health

Personal health budgets are a way of offering individuals with disabilities and long term conditions greater choice and control in how the NHS supports them in improving their health and managing their care.

Personal health budgets are closely aligned to one of the central strands of service transformation in mental health: recovery. Adopting a recovery focused approach to mental health services means moving beyond symptom and risk management to support people to re-establish a meaningful life for themselves with their mental health condition. Recovery requires services to look beyond treatment to consider wider issues such as housing, employment and family relationships. As a highly personal journey, recovery depends on services being able to develop individually tailored approaches. Personal health budgets are a tool to support more recovery focused services by allowing individuals to define their own outcomes and design their own packages of care and support.

The personal health budget evaluation found that personal health budgets had particularly positive impacts for those with mental health problems. The pilot programme included more than 20 sites that offered personal health budgets for mental health. These sites worked with a range of different populations, from older people with dementia to young people in the early intervention service and with a range of different types and sizes of budget, from small one off budgets to kick start recovery to larger annual budgets that included clinical services.

The Department of Health and Social Care announced in February 2019 that the legal right to a personal health budget is being extended to people eligible for section 117 aftercare services.

Over the past few years a number of areas have been moving forward with offering personal health budgets to people with mental health problems.

Find out how NHS Nene CCG & NHS Corby CCG have approached offering personal health budgets as a mainstream option in mental health services.