Personal Payment Budgets for Mental Health

06 Oct

My area has just introduced personal payment budgets within mental health (it already exists for social and health care). This means that basically they look at how much you have cost the system over x amount of time and then allocate you a budget to spend on services that can best support you in order to reduce the overall cost. Sounds ok on paper doesn’t it but I’m part way through the process as the first person in my area and I’m getting a bit stressed by it all.
There are many questions I have but no one within my community mental health team knows the answers because it’s brand new.

I had to submit an expression of interest form which looked at my goals to get better. I took a three point approach:

1) receive psychological help

2) receive support when in crisis

3) receive support around weight loss and health goals to enable me to feel more confident to go out

This was taken to my local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) who have said it needs more information before releasing funds. I am therefore meeting with my care coordinator and the woman in charge of the process to try and put it down in more detail.

The questions I have are mainly around what I’m currently receiving. For example, my therapist who I see once a week might not be able to see me anymore because a) I’m supposed to ‘buy in’ a therapist and they aren’t set up that way so it wouldn’t work with them and b) my care coordinator seems to think twice weekly therapy sessions might be a good idea but she only works part time. I honestly don’t think I can go through with building a new relationship with another therapist.

Also, I’d lose the crisis services and have to buy those in as well but who knows when they are going to hit crisis and so how can you buy that in in advance? For me, most of my problems occur out of hours – but they’ll be no access to duty so what then?

I know the aim is to reduce a&e visits and hospital stays, but is there actually anything out there at the moment that provides that kind of support 24/7?

I’m really quite scared about the process and what I’m going to end up with, but in some ways I feel a bit rail roaded into it because I’m the first one and so a lot of attention is on the case.

If anyone has any experience of their own personal payment budget purely for mental health, what have you spent yours on?


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  1. JL

    October 6, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    I have a personal budget but still get normal crisis services too. It pays for respite care in MH care home. 4×1 week. Also I get daily support from a carer. Originally 5 hours a day now 1 hr which can b extended in bad patches. Also pays for me to do beneficial things like train fares to conferences but don’t know if yrs wld be the same

    • Female PTSD

      October 6, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      It’s been made to sound like everything I have now is stripped away and I then rebuild support from scratch. Thanks for info though 🙂

  2. Gill

    October 6, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    I was given a Personal Budget for mental health reasons. Main problem was that the questionnaire which needed to be completed was aimed at physical problems.
    Then, I was allocated an unqualified volunteer with no supervision from CMHT or social services and this volunteer ended up financially abusing me!
    I did still have access to the Crisis Team, but felt guilty doing so!
    I still get to see my therapist because my GP finds it through the local GP budget. CMHT would only offer me short term therapy but a psychiatrist said I needed long term therapy so my GP got funding through the GP Commisioning Group budget for unlimited long term therapy.

    • Female PTSD

      October 6, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      Thanks so much for that. The problem I have is my therapy is through cmht and therapist won’t see me unless I am with them as she sees me as high risk & needing support. It’s all so confusing