'Personal health budgets: first steps' document

28 January 2009

In January 2009 the Department of Health outlined its plans to pilot personal health budgets in the publication Personal health budgets: first steps.

The document explained that personal health budgets enabled people to take control over how much money was spent on their care.

Personal health budgets could be a notional budget held by the commissioner, a budget managed on the individual's behalf by a third party, or could comprise a cash payment to an individual (direct payment). These options closely followed the ways in which social care personal budgets could be taken. PCTs already had powers to offer personal health budgets but were not able to provide direct payments until the Health Act 2009 was passed.

The Department of Health launched a process for sites to become part of the pilot programme, which would be subject to robust evaluation. They announced in May that 70 provisional sites had been selected for the personal health budget pilot programme.

In October 2009, 20 sites were selected to participate in an in-depth evaluation by the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU). The pilot programme was designed to test the impact of personal health budgets as a mechanism for giving patients and service users greater control and choice over the services available to them.


Department of Health.
Personal health budgets; first steps.
Department of Health; 2009.

Department of Health.
Other information.
Department of Health; 2010.