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New one-off personal health budget introduced | Hospital Discharge

The NHS has released a one-off personal health budget to ease the pressure on acute hospital services (see useful link at end of article).

The aim of the one–off personal health budget (PHB) is to support hospital discharge, enabling care and support by family or unpaid carers to facilitate care for up to two weeks. Specific criteria must be met and the cost of PHB should not exceed £200 (exceptions up to £400 can be considered).

Systems will need to enable rapid (same day) payment of the direct payment (where appropriate), utilising the local authority’s direct payment system (where applicable).

The payment however, should not be used for:

  • Long term care needs following completion of a Care Act and/or NHS continuing healthcare assessment.
  • Where social care or NHS continuing healthcare packages are restarted following discharge from hospital at the same level as that already delivered prior to admission to hospital.

Some examples of how the payment could be put to good use are:  payment of childcare to enable an informal carer to provide the necessary care; payment of travel costs to enable informal care; or payment for culturally appropriate support, where none such is routinely commissioned.

The direct payment, if applicable, should be made before or on the day of discharge, to allow the appropriate support to be in place. Clear information should also be provided on how payments (if in instalments) will be agreed and reviewed. It is expected that payment for the service will enable earlier discharge by at least two days, which in turn should hopefully help to relieve the pressure currently placed upon the NHS.

Useful link:

If you have any questions about the one-off personal health budget or discharge from hospital, please contact our Clinical Adviser; Judy Timson for a FREE initial telephone consultation on 01926 354704 or email:

Article by: Judy Timson | Clincal Adviser 

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