Accessing NHS Continuing Healthcare

Support for people requiring long term health care, and information about Personal Health Budgets.

Continuing Healthcare is care given outside of hospital over an extended period of time to meet the physical or mental health needs of adults with a disability, injury, or illness. It involves a package of care that is arranged and funded by the NHS and is free of charge to the person receiving the care.


To be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare, the person receiving it must be assessed by a health professional as having a “primary health need” - a complex medical condition and substantial ongoing care needs.

If NHS Continuing Healthcare is provided in the home of the person receiving it, it will cover personal care and healthcare costs. It may also include support for a carer.

If someone is eligible for Continuing Healthcare funding they may also have the right to have a personal health budget.

Personal Health Budgets

Anyone who is eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding now has the right to have their own personal health budget. This is a set amount of money to spend on the support and services that will meet the health and wellbeing needs of the person receiving them, as agreed between them or their representative, and the local NHS team.

It can be provided in a number of ways – including direct payments – to suit each person and their support plan. It can be spent on a range of activities, services and some types of equipment, tailored to best meet the needs.

Personal Health Budgets are not ‘new money’ but represent the opportunity to utilise money already in the NHS in a different way, to maximise impact and benefit of that money by personalising the way that people receive healthcare.

NHS Choices - Personal Health Budgets