19 February 2013

Personal Health Budgets: A Guide for GPs

A practical guide to personal health budgets (PHBs) for GPs in England has been published by the Royal College of General Practitioners.

In November following a three-year pilot programme, the Government confirmed that PHBs will be rolled out across England.

The easily accessible guide covers what PHBs are, which patients are eligible, and how they can be used effectively. It has been produced with input from GPs and PHB managers with first-hand experience of using PHBs at the pilot sites.

The PDF guide is available free of charge on the College’s website, it includes a useful FAQ section and decision tree for quick reference purposes. It uses case studies to bring scenarios to life.

PHBs will enable patients to choose treatments, including some that fall outside those traditionally funded by the NHS, to improve their health. They are based on a care planning approach and patients will agree chosen treatments that will then be signed off by the NHS.

Patients in England receiving NHS Continuing Healthcare will be eligible for a personal health budget and, by April 2014, all those with continuing health needs will have the right to ask for a PHB. Clinical Commissioning Groups will be able to offer them more widely to patients who they feel may benefit.

RCGP Chair Dr Clare Gerada said:

"This new guide is an excellent and easy reference tool for GPs and will help to make sure that personal health budgets are used in the most beneficial way for patients.

“The College previously published a position statement giving the proposals a ‘cautious amber’ carefully exploring the opportunities and risks involved and will continue to closely monitor the development of personal health budgets."

Further Information

RCGP Press office - 020 3188 7574/7575/7576
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659


The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 46,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards