Personal health budgets for people with a learning disability or autism or both

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

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

People with a learning disability or autism or both who are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare or aftercare services under section 117 of the Mental Health Act currently 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 or autism or both who display behaviour that challenges, including those with a mental health condition.

Personal health budgets and integrated budgets 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, Transforming Care Partnerships have been working together locally with partners and people and families to offer personal health budgets and integrated personal budgets to people with a learning disability or autism or both.

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.


Universal Personalised Care explains in full (in standard and easy-read formats) how the NHS will personalise people’s care to benefit up to 2.5 million people by 2023/24

All about personal health budgets is our easy read guide aimed at people, families and carers who receive or know someone who receives a personal health budget. This guide can also be used by health and care staff who support people to get a personal health budget.

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 helps people to understand what personal health budgets are and how they might be able to start the process of getting one.

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.

Case studies

You can find more stories showing how people’s lives are being transformed on our website. Follow us on Twitter @Pers_Care.