There are several ways in which your care and support needs can be funded, therefore having an understanding of all the funding options may influence how you choose the services you may require:
There are a number of central Government and local Council funded options that might be available to you to help with your care costs. This will however depend on your personal and financial circumstances.
Personal Healthcare Budgets
NHS healthcare is free of charge. In 2014, the Government began the national roll out of personal healthcare budgets, which are initially aimed at people who are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare. Doctors can also offer personal health budgets to others that they feel may benefit from the additional flexibility and control. The NHS is mandated to a further roll-out of personal health budgets in April 2015.
A personal healthcare budget is an amount of money to support your identified healthcare and wellbeing needs, planned and agreed between you, your representative and your local NHS team.
At the centre of your personal health budget is your care and support plan. This helps you decide how your health and wellbeing goals, together with the local NHS team who support you, and set out how your budget will be spent to enable you to reach them and keep healthy and safe. There are certain things that the personal health budget cannot be spent on.
How can a personal healthcare budget be managed?
Once your care plan has been agreed the money in your personal health budget can be managed in a number of ways:
Notional budget – No money changes hands. You find out how much money is available and you talk to your local NHS team about the different ways to spend that money to meet your needs. They will then arrange the agreed care and support.
Real budget held by a third party – A different organisation or trust holds the money for you and helps you decide what you need. After you have agreed this with your local NHS team, the organisation buys the care and support you have chosen
Direct payment for healthcare – You get the cash to buy the care and support you and your local NHS team decide you need. You have to show what it is spent on, but you, or your representative buy and manage services yourself.
You will need a separate bank account to receive a personal health budget via a direct payment. This account must only be used for purchasing care, however, it can also be used for receiving and managing a social care budget.
Personal Budget for Social Care
You will be assessed to determine whether you fit within your local council’s eligibility criteria for receiving care and support. Generally speaking you would need to have “substantial” or “critical” care needs to meet the criteria.
Furthermore social care, unlike healthcare is not free to everyone. You would, therefore, be subject to a financial assessment, which is based on your financial position. The financial assessment would then set out how much the local council will or will not contribute to your social care and support needs. If you meet the service and financial criteria you will be given a personal budget.
A personal budget for social care operates in a similar way to a personal healthcare budget. Your social care and support needs would be assessed and agreed by you and a care manager using a standard questionnaire. This questionnaire is then used to calculate your budget on a “points per pound” basis to provide the budget.
A support plan is then drawn up by you and your care manager to set out how the personal social care budget will meet your social care and support needs. You may choose, for example to spend some or all of your personal budget on homecare and support services. Again, there are certain things that a personal budget cannot be spent on.
Department of Work and Pensions
There are also a number of financial support options through the Department of Work and Pensions, including carers allowance, attendance allowance and personal Independence payments. These are subject to eligibility criteria.
It may be that you are able to self-fund all or part of your care and support needs. If you are looking for care and support in your own home then please go to the ‘My Way’ page, which explains how we can provide a flexible and personalised homecare and support service that you can pay for in full or use to ‘top up’ services funded by the local council.
These can be weekly, daily or one off care and support services from personal care, to domestic help with cleaning and ironing, to meal preparation or for trips out. These services are provided in the way you wish – ((My Way)).