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PHBChoices - Supporting the Long Term Plan

PHB iconHow can we help people have more control over their care and health?
How can we improve people's access to and experiences of health care?
What will help older people stay well and avoid the need for hospital stays?

These questions are at the heart of NHS England's strategy for the next 10 years. Their solution? Personalisation of care.

The long term plan for the NHS has placed personalisation of care centre-stage, supported by 200,000 individuals expected to benefit from the use of Personal Health Budgets (PHB) by 2023.

To assist this transformation, we have developed PHBChoices - an online marketplace enabling both individuals and commissioners to take control of their Personal Health Budgets.

PHBChoices is a web-based care marketplace, where a variety of goods and services can be purchased using a virtual wallet, enabling cashless transactions. Other functions include a fully managed payroll solution integrated with a Time and Attendance Module to allow personal assistants to be paid easily. The website can be accessed by people who already have a PHB, those in the application process, their relatives, carers and even people who self-fund their own care needs, and has been built in conjunction with a number of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) to allow individuals to utilise their budget at home.

As a result of patients having access to healthcare products and services at home, bed occupancy rates and pressure on NHS staff to provide care for those who could be supported outside hospital, are expected to decrease. Simultaneously, discharge rates should accelerate and the costs dedicated to hospital patients shall be reduced.

PHB Products and Services

Our activity for this year includes generating greater awareness and trust around how PHBs and PHBChoices can transform personalised care. With over 15 CCGs now using PHBChoices and another 5 about to transition, our reach to those in need is progressively increasing. Keep an eye out for our new website for those in need of care, Personal Assistants and Suppliers, soon to be featured on the PHBChoices marketplace. The site provides information and guidance that we believe can help these stakeholders simplify their management of care. We are currently working with users of PHBChoices to create case studies of their user experience to accompany the informative site. We'd like to use these case studies to demonstrate the capability of our system meeting a wide variety of health and care needs. However, the technology behind PHBChoices is not limited to PHBs. The system has the potential for much broader applications. To discuss how PHBChoices could assist you, contact our Business Development Manager, Chris Hirst.

This year, we also intend to hold PHBChoices events. Our aim is to highlight the importance of personalising care, the positive impacts this will have on the NHS, and how PHBChoices can support this movement. We look forward to updating you on our developing plans around events very soon.

Since its introduction last year, PHBChoices has transformed and modernised the administration and management of Personal Health Budgets. Under the system, PHB holders access their budget using online accounts, purchasing goods and services using their "virtual wallet" with cashless transactions.

PHBChoices is interfaced into ISFE ensuring payments go directly from the CCG to suppliers, avoiding commercial bank accounts.

The majority of PHB holders employ one or more Personal Assistants. Previously they managed their employees using a paper process of timesheets and manual payments. The transition onto PHBChoices has given them access to an electronic time and attendance module, with online approval of timesheets and automated work flow to their payroll provider for staff and statutory payments. The ability to dispute/approve timesheets, review care schedules, query invoices from agencies and rate supplier performance (which is visible to other PHB holders) has been very popular with budget holders.

Early adopting CCGs have already been able to improve their productivity and efficiency, avoiding increased administration costs associated with an increase in the number of PHB holders. They are now enjoying:

  • Greater transparency
  • Improved governance & compliance
  • Tighter control
  • Cash releasing savings of between 20- 30%


To find out more about the benefits of PHBChoices for a CCG, please contact Jon Baker or Christopher Hirst.

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