There are different ways that you can access support to meet your health and social care needs. Below is a summary of the main types of funding that you can access.
Local Authority Services
Most people initially have a Community Care Assessment, which is usually undertaken by a Social Worker. This assessment considers your needs holistically and will identify your level of need. If you meet the qualifying criteria set by your Local Authority, they will agree a budget with you that meets your assessed needs. This is known as a Personal Budget.
You can receive your personal budget as a ‘Direct Payment’, where you can choose to receive the money directly and buy appropriate support to meet your needs, yourself. If you choose to manage and direct your own support we can assist you with all aspects of process. Please see our Support Options page for more information.
Personal budgets differ to personal health budgets, in that Local Authorities are allowed to charge for the services they provide, so you may need to make a contribution to your personal budget, however this is based on your income and any savings you may have. The Local Authority will carry out a financial assessment with you to establish any contribution you need to make.
Everyone has a legal right to have a personal budget and receive their budget as a direct payment if they wish to pay for care in this way.
Joint Funding of Care
A joint agreement may be made between your Local Authority and the NHS to meet your health and social care needs, if you have a substantial level of need but do not meet the eligibility criteria for NHS continuing healthcare or NHS-funded nursing care.
You should be offered the option to receive a personal budget from your Local Authority and a personal health budget from the NHS to pay for your care. Often the budgets can be combined to offer you a single budget and payment.
NHS-Funded Nursing Care
If you do not qualify for NHS continuing healthcare but you have been assessed as needing care from a registered nurse, you may receive NHS-funded nursing care within a residential or nursing care home. If you live in your own home you will usually receive this support from a District Nurse or a Community Matron.
Personal budgets or personal health budgets are not available for this level of support as it is included within what is known as ‘Primary Care Services’, which are exempt from budgets allocated individually.
NHS Continuing Healthcare
NHS continuing healthcare is the name given to a package of care that is arranged and funded solely by the NHS for individuals who are not in hospital and have complex ongoing healthcare needs.
You can receive a personal health budget in most areas of England if you are eligible for this level of funding to pay for your care.
By April 2014 everyone who is eligible for or receiving Continuing
Health Care funding from the NHS will have the right to ask for a personal health budget.
The Clinical Commissioning Group, responsible for commissioning services in your local area will also need to have the ability to both offer and support you to access a personal health budget.
Understanding how to qualify for continuing healthcare funding and finding your way through the process can be challenging. This information aims to outline the continuing healthcare process.
For more information about NHS continuing healthcare funding please visit our Frequently Asked Questions section