Personal health budgets (PHB)

1. What is a Personal Health Budget?

A Personal Health Budget (PHB) is an amount of money to support someone’s health and wellbeing needs, which is planned and agreed between them and their health team. PHBs give people more choice, control and flexibility over the support they receive.
In North East London (City & Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham), PHBs are being used to support people to work towards an identified mental health recovery goal. PHBs can be used to buy an item, service, or membership that isn’t available through existing statutory or community support.
Each PHB request should start with personalised care and support planning, where the person works with their clinician to decide what will help them to be well and stay well. Once the mental health recovery goals are identified, they plan what is needed to achieve the goals. One of the options available is a PHB.
The Advocacy Project is commissioned by NEL ICB to deliver the PHB service for mental health recovery in City & Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham. The PHB team process PHB referrals and support clinicians with PHB related queries.

2. Who can access a PHB?

In North East London, our PHB service for mental health recovery is available for people who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Adults receiving support for their mental health from East London Foundation Trust (ELFT)
  • Residents of City and Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham
  • People who have recourse to public funds (unless on s117 aftercare, see NHSE guidance section 4.4).

Please share this postcard about PHBs with people who are eligible to access a PHB to support their mental health recovery. You can contact us if you would like printed copies for your team.

3. Making a case for a PHB

A PHB request is submitted to The Advocacy Project using the online referral form. On the referral form the clinician will provide details of the person’s mental health recovery goal and clearly describe how the PHB will help the person achieve their goal. The clinician should also provide details of other support options considered and why these were not suitable.
Please see our “when to consider a PHB” flow chart and guidance notes for more information. We encourage clinicians to contact the PHB team to discuss PHB requests before submitting a referral by email at or by phone on 020 3869 9728.

4. What can’t be funded by a PHB

Some things can’t be funded by a PHB because there’s already support for these through different avenues. These include alternative therapy, support for de-cluttering, and household items. See our guidance notes for more details about what cannot be funded by a PHB in North East London.
If you have any questions about what a PHB can cover, please ask us before making a referral.

5. ‘Stay connected’ smartphone / data

We have a streamlined pathway to fund smartphones and data for people who are eligible for a PHB. View this guidance or contact us to find out more.

6. How can I find out more?

The Advocacy Project has a team of PHB advisors in place to support clinicians to submit PHB requests. Please contact or call 020 3869 9728 with questions, training requests or feedback and suggestions.

PHB Referral

“Get connected” smart phone or data package

Outcome measure RECOL10

Outcome measure DIALOG+

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