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Personal Budgets Information

What is a Personal Budget?

The scope of a personal budget will vary depending on individual circumstances and is different for each agency (Education, Health and Social Care).

Where it is possible to make a personal budget there are four ways in which these can be delivered:

  • The agency, service, the school or the college holds funds and arranges support based on assessed needs to meet the outcomes specified;
  • A third party (meaning someone other than the agency, parent/carer or young person) is paid the funds and manages the personal budget on behalf of the parents or young person. There are no additional funds to pay the third party provider to do this – it comes out of the basis of the assessed need and agreed allocation for provision;
  • A direct payment – funds are paid into a separate bank account and managed by the parent/carer or young person;
  • A combination of the above.


There are separate legal frameworks for personal budgets and direct payments for each of the Education, Health and Social Care agencies. However, there is the potential for joining up service areas into an overall personal budget. This is a developing picture as agencies work together across the age ranges from birth to age 25 to see how this might operate in future. Currently the opportunity for joined up personal budgets is limited because it is a complex area but it will be kept under review as part of an ongoing process. At the moment there are separate arrangements depending on which agency is involved. 

Since September 2014 the position in Hampshire across Education, Health and Social Care is given below.

Social Care

Children’s Services – Social Care (Age: Birth to 18 years)

Children’s Services have four countywide Children with Disabilities teams. These teams support children from birth to 18 years of age who have severe and substantial disabilities and meet the eligibility criteria as detailed here: Click here to see the eligibility criteria.

Children, young people and families who are eligible for funded support from the Children with Disabilities team will receive this via a personal budget. A personal budget for social care is the total amount of money which Children’s Services have identified to meet a person’s social care needs, following a social care assessment.

A Personal Budget can be delivered in any of the ways set out on page 1 of this document. This means that a young person or family might choose for the Local Authority to commission their support on their behalf; or the family may wish to receive a direct payment to arrange their support themselves, or a combination of these two approaches. It is therefore not compulsory for the family to manage the budget themselves if they do not wish to.

We want to be clear how the child or young person’s needs will be met by the personal budget and what we are aiming to achieve. Once the care or support is in place, these outcomes will be reviewed in line with Childrens’ Services review procedures. The child and family will have an annual reassessment of their social care needs which will inform an annual reassessment of their indicative personal budget. Their assessed level of support might go up or down depending on how their needs change.

A personal budget must be used to meet assessed social care needs and outcomes. No new money is being introduced into the social care system to fund personal budgets and any personal budgets will come from existing resources.

The outcomes are derived from the personal assessment of need, discussed and agreed with the person, and how it is intended they will be met. The personal budget is recorded within the person’s plan which demonstrates the person’s outcomes, the activities or services identified to meet these, along with the associated cost.

Processes for developing a personal budget:

Hampshire Children’s Services have been introducing new ways of working in 2018. The ‘Hampshire Approach’ uses strengths based assessment, care and support planning to bring together the child and family along with the people that support them, whether that is wider family, friends or professionals. It is based on an ongoing conversation with a family and an indicative budget is worked out together using a calculator based on a traditional package of care support.

After agreeing outcomes to work towards with a family, the social worker should support the family and network to consider how these outcomes could be met in the least restrictive way and in a way that supports the child or family to build their resilience or increase their independence.

We talk about using ‘strength based steps’ to consider sources of support. We support children and families to consider: How can I meet my goals myself? How could my family or friends support me to meet my goal? What about my community? Could Technology Enabled Care, aids or adaptations play a role?

Once these options have been considered, there may be some outstanding goals or outcomes which can only be met by funding from Children’s Services at this time. If this is the case, a personal budget might be recommended. Funded support will only be considered if the family’s outcomes cannot be met through family, friends and community services.

What can I use this for?

The aim of a personal budget is to enable flexibility and to allow the correct balance of support to be provided reflecting the individual outcomes that each child/young person and family are striving for.

We would like plans to be as creative as possible as long as they are effective in meeting the care needs and outcomes specified within the plan. Plans should be legal, affordable and within the scope of the personal budget allocated by the Local Authority.

These are some examples of the types of service and support that could be provided via a social care personal budget. This list is not exhaustive and will be subject to frequent review:
• A personal assistant or support worker.
• To buy services from an agency or organisation (you will need to use an accredited agency; you can find the list of organisations that are registered at www.ofsted.gov.uk).
• Going on holiday instead of going to respite care.
• Joining a gym or a sports club.
• Support to make and meet new friends, through agencies, online activities or going to a club.

There are some things that a personal budget will not cover, this list is not exhaustive and may be subject to change:-
• Illegal activities.
• Gambling (including Bingo).
• Things that parents should pay for such as food, bills, rent or mortgage payments and household utilities.
• Employing immediate family members living in the same household.
• Long term residential care.

You should contact your allocated social worker for further information about personal budgets. 

Adult Services – Social Care (Age: 18 to 25 plus)

A personal budget for social care is the total amount of money which Adult Services has identified to meet a person’s eligible social care needs, following a social care assessment Click here to read about the help provided by Adult Services and the eligibility criteria for services


The personal budget is recorded within the person’s personal plan which demonstrates the person’s outcomes, the activities or services identified to meet these, along with the associated cost.


The outcomes are derived from the personal assessment of need, discussed and agreed with the person, and how it is intended they will be met. Planning of the support to meet the outcomes can be done jointly between the person and the Adult Services practitioner or independently.


Once the care package is in place, the needs, outcomes and personal budget are reviewed in line with Adult Services’ review procedure.


To find out more about Personal Budgets for Adults you should contact your allocated care manager or the duty team. Please refer to the eligibility criteria found via the link above.

National Health Service (NHS)

Children’s NHS (Age: Birth to 18 years of age)

Personal Health Budgets (PHBs) were introduced for children and young people eligible for NHS continuing Care from October 2014. PHBs 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 NHS continuing care.


Enquiries should be made to the Children’s Maternity and Commissioning Complex Care Team based at The Castle, Winchester. Email: nhccg.complexneeds@nhs.net Phone: 0300 561 0903

For additional information:

NHS Continuing care government site: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-and-young-peoples-continuing-care-national-framework

Find out more about this on NHS England PHB site: https://www.england.nhs.uk/personal-health-budgets/personal-health-budgets-for-children-young-people-and-families/

and NHS England PHB site frequently asked questions page: https://www.england.nhs.uk/personal-health-budgets/what-are-personal-health-budgets-phbs/frequently-asked-questions-about-phbs/

Adults NHS (Age 18 plus)


Personal Health Budgets for adults eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare


A pilot project to trial the introduction of Personal Health Budgets (PHBs) for adults eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare in Hampshire has been running since 2012. From October 2014 there is a legal obligation on Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) to provide a PHB for appropriate individuals who are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare click here to link to an article about Continuing Care.


The five Hampshire based CCGs are working in partnership with Hampshire County Council Adult Services department to expand and establish arrangements for the assessment and provision of PHBs for those eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare. Once established, the aim is to roll out PHBs to all care groups, beyond Continuing Healthcare.


The introduction of PHBs will allow people to have more choice, flexibility and control over the health services and care they receive. At the heart of a personal health budget is a support plan, an agreement between the NHS and the individual that sets out the person’s healthcare and wellbeing needs, the amount of money available to meet those needs and how this money will be spent.


Hampshire County Council Adult Services are leading this PHB work with the five Hampshire based CCGs through a joined up PHB Team (health and social care) who will undertake all support planning for a PHB direct payment. The ultimate aim is to develop the skills and knowledge required to carry out personalised support planning within these joined up health and social care teams (called Integrated Care Teams).


Contact Hampshire County Council: Rachel Paddock, Team Manager Adult Services PHB Email: rachel.paddock@hants.gov.uk


The Continuing Care Team, Fareham Health Centre, Osborn Road, Fareham, Hampshire PO16 7ER


NHS Lead for Adult PHB Email: whccg.continuingcare@nhs.net Phone: 01329 227272

Special Educational Needs

A personal budget is only available for special educational needs if the child or young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).


Parents and young people will have the option of requesting a personal budget for SEN Support but it is not compulsory to do so. A personal budget is an amount of money identified to deliver parts of the provision set out in the special educational provision section of the EHCP. It is made up of those parts of the total provision specified in that Plan over which parents or young person can have a say.


A personal budget can be requested at the point when a draft EHCP is issued, or when an EHCP is reviewed at the annual review, or as part of a statutory re assessment of the child or young person’s special educational needs.


A personal budget in the form of an SEN direct payment (where cash payments are made to the child’s parents or the young person) can be provided for a child or young person with an EHCP when the Local Authority is satisfied that:

  • The SEN direct payment will be used to make the special educational provision specified in the EHC plan – educational resources cannot be used to buy additional short break time for instance;
  • Making a direct payment will not have an adverse impact on other services provided by the Local Authority for children and young people with EHC Plans;
  • Securing the agreed provision by a direct payment doesn’t create an additional cost for the Local Authority – the arrangement cannot cost any more than if the service was to be provided by the local authority;
  • The Head teacher of the school or the Principal of the college where the agreed provision will be provided is in agreement with a direct payment being made;
  • The individual receiving the direct payment is not precluded from receiving the direct payment under the terms of the regulations .


Most importantly the SEN direct payment cannot be used to fund a place at a school or college.


No new money is being introduced in to the education system to fund personal budgets and any personal budgets must come from existing resources.


In Hampshire, the arrangements made for delegating funding to schools and colleges for places and the additional top up provided to fund the special educational provision for children and young people with EHCPs means that the vast majority of money is spent on staffing and other day to day support costs. The way that schools and colleges meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities including those with EHCPs is set out in the Local Offer. The potential for a personal budget varies depending on individual circumstances. However, for the majority of children and young people in a school or college the opportunity for a personal budget for special educational provision is very limited.


All requests for a personal budget will be considered on the individual circumstances of the child or young person.


Enquiries should be made to the SEN Service. Contact: SEN Service Email: enquiries.sen@hants.gov.uk Phone: 0300 555 1384

Personal Budgets across Education, Health and Social Care

The way in which social care, health and SEN will work together to ensure a joined up approach to personal budgets is currently in development and is a complex process. This will require a culture change in the way that we offer and commission services for children.

Continuing Care: Children’s Health and Children’s Social Care

Almost all children who qualify for Continuing Care will have an allocated social worker, therefore there will be a joint approach to delivering the personal budgets across children’s health and children’s social care.

Children in Transition from Children’s Social Care in to Adult Services

Hampshire County Council Adults Service and the West Hampshire CCG Continuing Healthcare Team, on behalf of the five Hampshire based CCGs, will be working with Children’s Services (health and social care) to support them to develop processes and pathways which will enable children in transition to have personal budgets. The principals of offering a Personal Budget for children or a Personal Health Budget for adults (as a direct payment) is very similar.


The National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare for adults requests that children in transition are assessed at age 16, or earlier if possible, by a multidisciplinary team to agree their ongoing needs and service requirements as they move into adulthood.

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