Personal health budgets for children, young people and families

NHS England is working with partners across education and social care to support more young people with complex health needs to access personal health budgets.

Personal health budgets can improve people’s quality of life and their experience of care, by helping people to have more choices about how their healthcare needs are met.

The ‘right to have’ a personal health budget currently applies both to adults and young adults who are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare, and children in receipt of continuing care.

Personal budgets are also enshrined in legislation under the following acts

  • The Care Act 2014, which requires the NHS and local authorities to provide an early indication of what support, including personal budgets, will be available to young people when they transfer to adult services
  • The Children and Families Act 2014 requires local authorities and CCGs to consider the option of a personal budget for children and young people who are eligible for an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

Special educational needs and disabilities

The Special education needs and disability (SEND) code of practice: 0 to 25 years further sets out the duties of local authorities, health bodies, schools and colleges under part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

All integrated care boards (ICBs) must:

  • commission services jointly for children and young people (up to age 25) with SEND, including those with Education Health and Care (EHC) plans
  • work with the local authority to contribute to the ‘local offer’ of services available
  • have mechanisms in place to ensure practitioners and clinicians will support the integrated EHC needs assessment process
  • agree personal budgets where they are provided for those with EHC plans.

Transforming Care

As part of the Transforming Care Programme, NHS England is working with the Local Government Association (LGA) and other partners to transform care for children and young people who have a learning disability, display challenging behaviours, and are at risk of inappropriate admission to assessment and treatment units (ATUs).

Personal health budgets and Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) are expected to be available to children and young people in the Transforming Care cohort, to help ensure that people receive more joined-up care and person-centred support.

This is part of wider work to re-shape local services and develop community services as an alternative to inpatient facilities, as set out in the national plan Building the right support.

Further information