If you are an adult accessing mental health aftercare under section 117 of the Mental Health Act, you can access a personal health budget (PHB). This will enable you or someone you choose to manage and control how you receive your care and support. 


How can a personal health budget be organised for me?

Find out more from the information further down on this page. You can also find useful leaflets in various formats available to download by clicking the link below.

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There are six basic steps to your personal health budget

  1. Get clear information
    Start by talking to the NHS team who currently look after you to find out whether you would be able to access a PHB. This might be a care manager, nurse or your GP, who can tell you how personal health budgets work for people eligible for mental health aftercare. You can also contact the Personal Health Budget Support Service if you have any more questions or need support.
  2. Understand your health and wellbeing needs
    If you are able to access a PHB, your care manager or nurse will discuss with you (or your representative) how the personal health budget may work. An important part of setting a personal health budget is agreeing how the care you receive will benefit your health. This will include understanding your mental health and wellbeing needs and how these needs can be met. The lead health professional will talk this through with you.
  3. Work out the amount of money that may be available
    Our CCG nurse assessor, in conjunction with the lead professional in the community, and our PHB support service can work out the amount that is available. The amount of money will be based on your health and wellbeing needs and what a conventional package of care would look like. Have a chat with your care manager, nurse, or the Personal Health Budget Support Service if you have any concerns.
  4. Make a personalised care and support plan
    If you choose to have a PHB you will need to have a personalised support plan. This is developed by you/your representative and the lead professional within the community and our CCG NHS funded healthcare team nurse assessor. Together you will design a plan that meets your needs and meets NHS funding rules. The Personal Health Budget Support Service can support you throughout this process.
  5. Organise care and support
    As soon as your support plan has been approved your personal health budget will need to be activated - this can be organised in a few different ways:
  • Notional personal health budget – this means our CCG nurse assessor will buy the services you need directly from the service provider (for example, a care agency)
  • Third party personal health budget – this means the money is passed on to an independent person or organisation, who then organises your care for you (as described in your support plan)
  • Direct payment – this means we pass on the money directly to you, with support of an independent organisation, to organise your care (as described in your support plan)

You can choose one or a combination of the three options above.

Support is available to help you consider these options. If you choose to take a direct payment you become an employer, and you may want support with employment responsibilities (such as setting up banks accounts and payroll administration). Please see below for the contact details of contact the Personal Health Budget Support Service and other local organisations who can provide this support.

  1. Make sure the money is working for you
    Your nurse assessor is responsible for making sure the help and support you are receiving is meeting your needs. As your needs change, so might your personal health budget, to make sure it is giving you the most appropriate support. Eligibility for mental health aftercare is also reviewed regularly.

Where can I find out more information?

If you want to know more or you have any questions about personal health budgets, you should contact your lead health professional – your care manager, nurse or GP. You can also contact the Personal Health Budget Support Service if you have any more questions or need support.

We have also approved a local policy that sets out the principles of how it will implement the delivery of personal health budgets across Sefton. You will find a copy in our policies library.

You can also contact the following local voluntary sector organisations who provide information and support to people with personal health budgets: