Direct Payments

A Direct Payment is a payment from the local authority (Social Services) or the NHS (this type of Direct Payment is called a Personal Health Budget - see below for more information).

A Direct Payment is made directly to you so you can buy care and support services for yourself.

Direct Payments allow you to make your own decisions about how your care and support is delivered, giving you more flexibility and greater choice and control over your life.

Many people who receive a Direct Payment choose to directly employ Personal Assistants who provide care and support in their home. Other people use their Direct Payment to buy agency care services

How we can support you

When you first start on Direct Payments we will allocate you a named adviser who will visit you at your home and provide you with one-to-one support for up to a year. Your adviser will explain all the options available and give you the information and advice you need to learn how to manage your Direct Payment and recruit and manage care staff.

Once you are up and running, we will send you regular news and updates and you can access support, advice and information from our Information and Advice team whenever you need it.

Our advisers are available via phone, text and email from 8am – 6pm Monday – Friday. The teams contact details can be found on our contact page.

Accessing our Fact and Support sheets

If you are one of our Direct Payment customers you can access our Fact and Support sheets on our Direct Payment Resources page.

What other people say about Direct Payments

Visit our customer stories page to read about how other people use their Direct Payment to live independently.

What is a Personal Health Budget?
A Personal Health Budget (PHB) is an amount of money to support your identified health and wellbeing needs, planned and agreed between you and your local NHS team.

The aim is to give people with long-term conditions and disabilities greater choice and control over the healthcare and support they receive.

“It has changed my life completely by living like this. I now have more of a life and I am in charge of my life; going out when I want and where I want”

Am I eligible to receive a PHB?
PHB's are used widely across the country and there are plans to extend how they can be used. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) commission healthcare services, CCGs are preparing to expand availability of PHBs to others who could benefit from April this year.

What can it be used for?
The way a Personal Health Budget is used depends on the support needs of an individual. It can be used to support an adult or a child.
For example it could help you to regain your social life, get some respite, to employ your family to support you, or continue to live in your own home.
There are lots of different ways PHBs can be applied depending on your needs.

How to find out more about Personal Health Budgets and whether they could support you
NHS Choices has guidance on how to get started.

Already have a PHB and want to get involved with influencing how they are used?
Get in touch with the user-led Personal Health Budget Network Peoplehub.

Need ongoing support and guidance on managing your Personal Health Budget?
If you live in West Sussex or Portsmouth, you can access the Independent Lives Direct Payment Support Service for free (we are funded to provide this service by your local NHS).

If you live in Hampshire and have a Direct Payment, you can pay for access to the Independent Lives Direct Payment Support Service.

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