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Personal health budgets

1. What is a Personal Health Budget?

A Personal Health Budget (PHB) is an amount of money to support someone to recover from mental illness. It can be used to buy an item, service, or membership that isn’t available through existing support networks. People experiencing mental ill health can talk about the option of a PHB with their clinician when they’re discussing ways to help them get well and stay well. This short video shares the stories of a few of our budget holders; how they used their PHB and the impact of the PHB on their wellbeing.


2. Who can access a PHB?

Our PHB service is for adults with mental health issues who are receiving treatment from ELFT, and who live in the London boroughs of City or Hackney. Please share this postcard about PHBs with people who are eligible to access a PHB to support their mental health recovery. You can contact us if you would like printed copies for your team.


3. Making a case for a PHB

When a clinician is recommending a PHB, they need to identify how it will benefit the person more than other ways of being supported. On the referral form they’ll need to describe specifically how the PHB will help the person achieve their recovery goal. If the money is for equipment such as a laptop, the form needs to include research they’ve done to choose which model is most suitable (eg getting guidance from a laptop provider like PC World or Currys).

When to consider a PHB: flow chart

If you’re the clinician filling in the form, do contact us if you want to check anything before you send it to us, so we can avoid sending the form back to you if we don’t have all the information.

See our guidance notes, then make a referral here. Feel free to contact us on / 020 3869 9728 if you’ve got any questions.


4. What can’t be funded by a PHB?

Some things can’t be funded by a PHB because there’s already support for these through different avenues. These include alternative therapy, support for de-cluttering, and household items. A PHB can’t be used to pay for driving lessons, or travel outside the UK. It can’t be used to pay for something for someone other than the budget holder, eg a friend or family member. See our guidance notes for more details about alternative funding for things not covered by PHBs.

If you have any questions about what a PHB can cover, please ask us before making a referral.


5. Covid-19: ‘Stay connected’ smartphone / data

We have a streamlined pathway to fund smartphones and data for people who are eligible for a PHB. View this guidance or contact us to find out more.


6. How can I find out more?

If you have any questions – or suggestions about how we can make the process better – please email or call 020 3869 9728.