Taking care of Personal Health Budgets

27th May 2014

Higgs & Sons is helping clients in need of long term care secure the tailor-made care package that is best for them.

Changes to the law on April 1 this year made it possible for anyone in receipt of Continuing Health Care (CHC) from the NHS to ask for their very own Personal Health Budget (PHB).This is where a person in need of long-term health care, that would normally be provided free of charge by the NHS, has the opportunity to cost out a budget to pay for their own tailor-made care.

Private client associate at Higgs, Annabel Kay, says a package might be as simple as an iPad to keep in touch with family to give you back your life.

Annabel explains: "The introduction of the PHB shows a further commitment to the personalisation process of care delivery.

"It has long been the case that a local authority will offer recipients means tested personal budgets to allow social care to be organised on an individualised basis; the same is now happening with health.

"This is welcome news for the thousands of people who, while grateful for the delivery of their care on a free of charge basis, often feel disempowered by their inability to participate and direct how that care is given.  The aim of the PHB is to encourage a move away from the physical process of meeting health needs to a more holistic process of meeting all of a person's needs."

Annabel went on to highlight recent examples of the PHB in practice, specifically that of a young father critically injured in a car accident and left with multiple care needs provided for by the NHS in his home. Prior to receiving the PHB, he found that his physical needs were being met, but that he was becoming increasingly isolated from his family and friends because of the timings and logistics of organising carers. On receipt of the budget, he was able to pay for family members to be trained to provide his care, he bought himself an iPad to Skype his family and he adapted his property in such a way that he was able to resume reading his children their bedtime stories.

The PHB was used flexibly and creatively to meet not just his physical needs, but to give him back his life - and a lump sum was also used to buy him an adapted windsurf board allowing him to take part in the sport he loved.

Annabel added: "The introduction of these budgets will change lives but it is vital that they are properly costed, evaluated and managed.

"Meticulous assessments of health and social care requirements will have to be made, a detailed care support plan must be drafted and the budget itself will need to be negotiated. This is where specialist advice from an experienced team like the one we have at Higgs can help deliver positive legal advice and provide solutions."

The Higgs Private Client Team is one of the largest and strongest of its kind in the Midlands region. It is top rated in Chambers & Partners Guide to the Legal Profession and the team also enjoys first tier ranking in the Legal 500 directory. To see how Higgs can help you with a PHB call Annabel on 0845 111 5050 or email annabel.kay@higgsandsons.co.uk

Higgs & Sons is headquartered at the Waterfront Business Park in Brierley Hill. The firm employs more than 200 people, which includes over 100 specialist lawyers.


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