Personal budgets & direct payments
A personal budget is an amount of money allocated by your Local Authority to meet your care and support needs. They are available for both people with support needs and also for carers.
Personal budgets and direct payments give you the freedom and ﬂexibility over how your care and support is arranged and provided to meet your needs. You’ll be in control, so you can make choices about the kinds of support you’d like and who you’d like to be supported by. We’re here to support all of your care, leisure, social, cultural and wellbeing needs.
Who can choose to have a personal budget?
An assessment by your Local Authority will identify if you are eligible for support and a personal budget will be set based on your individual needs.
Once an amount of money to meet your care and support needs and a funding method has been agreed, you’ll be supported to develop a care and support plan. The plan will outline how you’d like to choose to spend the money to meet your support needs.
What are the options for managing a personal budget?
There are a number of ways you can choose for your personal budget to be managed:
- A direct payment – a payment that is made directly to you (or a nominated or authorised person) so you can arrange and pay for support yourself.
- A managed account – you choose for your Local Authority to organise your support for you.
- A third party arrangement – you choose an organisation to hold your personal budget and help you decide how to spend it. This includes an Individual Service Fund (ISF) – a budget that a support provider manages on your behalf.
- A combination of any of the options above.
You have the right to request a direct payment to meet your eligible needs if you can manage a direct payment alone or with help. An authorised person can manage your direct payment if you lack capacity, however your Local Authority will need to agree that the person will act in your best interests.
Personal health budgets
We also support people with personal health budgets – an amount of money based on identified health and wellbeing needs. This budget is agreed between you and your local NHS team.
A personal health budget enables you to plan and choose how you’d like to use the money to meet your health and care needs. The aim is to give you flexibility over how your support is arranged and provided.
An integrated health and care personal budget is where the budget includes funding from both the local authority and the NHS.
Kate*, a wife and a mother of two young children, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a neurological condition. Kate experienced a range of symptoms which affected both her physical and emotional wellbeing. MS can be unpredictable, and Kate’s husband Shaun* began spending more and more time caring for her. It got to a stage where he had to leave his job to care for his wife, and their children.
They knew that they needed some support, so started exploring their options. Kate opted to access a personal health budget, and chose to be supported by Voyage Specialist Healthcare. The team ensure that support is flexible and works around the family’s needs and is responsive to any changes in Kate’s needs and wellbeing.
The team have developed a rapport with Kate which has improved her quality of life while also improving the wellbeing of her family. Shaun trusts that the care and support provided to Kate by our team is reliable and consistent, meaning he can now focus primarily on being Kate’s partner and a father to their children. He’s been able to go back to work which has been a big step for the family.
The flexibility offered through a Personal Health Budget has meant that Kate has been able to go on regular family holidays. We’ve worked closely with the family to ensure that they can look forward to and enjoy a break away together like they used to, whilst maintaining access to specialist support.
*Names have been changed for confidentiality