Experiences of Personal Health Budgets / NHS England


Personal health budgets are being introduced by the NHS to help people with long-term conditions or disabilities manage their care in a more ‘person-centred’ way. Traditionally, local authorities determined what form of care a person received, and when. However with personal health budgets, the recipient is allocated a budget directly. As such, NHS England commissioned us to find out: what are the impacts of personal health budgets? And how can the budgets be applied most effectively?


We visited several budget recipients across the country, each representing different demographic segments, with different long-term conditions. The resulting ethnographic case studies have helped health care professionals and policy makers better understand the needs of people with long-term conditions, and now appear on NHS England’s website to help inform potential recipients. The video above features Adrian, as well as interviews with his personal assistant and two service providers. Below are case studies with Matt, who has muscular dystrophy and lives with his partner; and Mark, who is confined to a wheelchair following an assault, and now lives in a purpose-built annex next to his parents. Also below is an explainer animation we then made, following the success of our research, to communicate the budget process to clinicians across the country.


“You were great to work with. You’re extremely professional and really take the the time to understand our needs, balancing that effectively with providing expert advice. We’ve had great feedback from all participants, who say you asked extremely insightful questions. The quality of the case studies has been consistently high, and they’re now regularly used to help people understand the impacts of more personalised care. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending you.”

– Rebecca Tempest, Senior Communications Manager at NHS England

Matt’s Personal Health Budget / NHS England

Mark’s Personal Health Budget / NHS England

A Clinician’s Guide to Personal Health Budgets / NHS England