Personal health budgets for people with learning disabilities

The national cross-organisational Learning Disability programme is working to make sure people live in homes not hospitals and stop people dying too soon, to improve people’s quality of care and quality of life.

Personal health budgets offer a real opportunity to enable people with a learning disability to live in their own homes or with their families, rather than in institutions.

People with a learning disability who are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare have a right to have a personal health budget. Anyone else whose support is funded by the NHS, including those with jointly funded packages, could also benefit.

Building the right support is a national plan to develop community services as an alternative to inpatient facilities for people with a learning disability and/or autism who display challenging behaviour, including those with a mental health condition.

Personal health budgets and IPC are an important part of the plan:

“ People … should have choice and control over how their health and care needs are met – with information about care and support in formats people can understand, the expansion of personal budgets, personal health budgets and integrated personal budgets, and strong independent advocacy.”

In line with this, national Transforming Care Partnerships have already begun to offer personal health budgets and integrated personal budgets to people with a learning disability who have complex health needs or behaviour that challenges:

In Hampshire, the local authority and the NHS are working together to enable young people with a learning disability in transition to adulthood to be offered a person-centred plan and an integrated personal budget. This approach has been built into the local plan for Transforming Care. Personal budgets, personal health budgets or integrated personal budgets will become the mainstream approach for everyone with a learning disability in future, with one aim being that people will be able to remain living with their families or in their own homes.


Our quick guide about personal health budgets and Integrated Personal Commissioning explains more about the policy expectations for CCGs and local government and progress so far.

The Think Local, Act Personal partnership has published learning and good practice examples from work across England:

Personal health budget: including people with learning disabilities.

Personal health budgets for children and young people with complex needs

Personal health budget films

Disability Sheffield have worked with the national team to put together Samantha’s story, a short film that will help you to understand what personal health budgets are and how you might be able to start the process of getting one.

Samantha’s story

Lucy spent many years living in institutions. She now has a personal health budget and lives in her own home in Plymouth with a tailor-made support arrangement.

Lucy’s story

Pete is a young person with a learning disability who lives with his family in Nottingham. Pete has an integrated personal budget and a person-centred plan which covers all his needs including health, social care and education. He and his mum have chosen their own personal assistants who have been trained to help Pete manage his diabetes. As a result he is able to stay living at home rather than entering residential care.

Pete and Michelle’s story

Case studies

You can find case studies showing how people’s lives are being transformed on our website. Follow us at #CareTransformed.

There are also more stories about personal health budgets for people with a learning disability on the PHBs in action section of our website.