A personal budget is an amount of money to help you meet your care and support needs and achieve the outcomes identified in your care and support plan. It gives you more choice and control over the support and care you receive. It allows you to think of new ways to meet your health and wellbeing needs and provides greater flexibility over how and when you receive your care. The amount you may receive will depend on your care and support needs.

What can my Personal Budget be spent on?

You can spend your budget on goods, services and support that have been agreed as part of your care plan as long as they are lawful and benefit your health and wellbeing, for example:

• Tommy is 67 and has heart problems and COPD, but despite this tries to remain as active as possible. After consulting with his GP he decided to use his personal budget to pay for swimming and gym sessions. These help improve his circulation and breathing, which means he can continue to keep active and control his medical conditions.

A personal budget cannot be spent on alcohol, tobacco, gambling, debt repayment or anything illegal such as drugs. It cannot be spent on anything that causes you or anyone else harm, anything that exposes you or others to unacceptable levels of risk or in a way that does not meet your care and support needs. A personal budget cannot be spent on emergency or acute health care services or day to day living expenses.

How does a personal budget work?

In your care plan you will agree where, when and how you purchase goods and services to meet your support needs in agreement with a health and/or social care professional.

You can choose to receive your budget in one of three ways or a combination of the options.

Notional Budget

Nothing changes and the NHS will continue to arrange and pay for the services you need that have been explored in your care and support plan.

Managed Budget

a. By a third party - you would choose someone you trust such as a family member, friend, independent broker or advocate. Anyone you choose to look after your Personal Budget must listen to you and respect your views and opinions.

If you are not able to manage your Personal Budget yourself and have no one else who is able to assist you, Stockton Personalisation Support Service can provide support. For more information contact 01642 393939.

b. By Stockton Borough Council - Stockton Borough Council will look after your Personal Budget for you and provide you with the services you want to meet your support needs. If you choose this option you will only be able to choose from services provided by the council such as home care, respite care and day care services.

Direct payment

You would choose where, when and how you purchase goods and services to meet your support needs in agreement with your care and support plan. Your Personal Budget will be paid via a pre-paid bank card.

You don’t have to choose just one way to manage your budget. Having a mix of the above may offer you more flexibility in meeting your support needs.

Contact

For more information about My Voice, My Choice and Personal Budgets please contact Age UK Teesside on 01642 805500