CCGs using new online marketplace to support take-up of personal health budgets

Powered by NHS Shared Business Services and cloudBuy, PHBChoices attracts use by a growing number of clinical commissioning groups and suppliers

Chiltern CCG and Aylesbury Vale CCG are working with one of the UK’s largest commissioning support units to pioneer the use of a simple and easy-to-use tool that delivers a seamless, end-to-end process for the delivery of personal health budgets.

The clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are using PHBChoices, the new online marketplace that connects health and care suppliers with Personal Health Budget (PHB) holders. PHBChoices has been developed and delivered by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) using the cloudBuy eCommerce platform.

Chiltern CCG and Aylesbury Vale CCG are pioneering the use of PHBChoices, supported by Arden & GEM CSU (Commissioning Support Unit). Arden & GEM is one of the largest CSUs in the country and works with more than 60 CCGs, who will be able to use PHBChoices for the benefit of commissioners, suppliers and patients.

'Put at its simplest, this is an online marketplace with the look and feel of major online retailers,' said Benjamyn Damazer, head of commissioning at NHS SBS. 'It is set up for the CCG to enable budget provision and patient management with an ease and simplicity of use for the patient.

'Control of what is bought and how it is used is with the patient. But the CCG can retain cash until the patient ‘spends’ their budget by buying goods or services.'

Building on the self-managed PHB provision, a personal virtual budget is made available to the PHB holder through an online account created by their CCG. The PHB holder can then buy goods and services from the marketplace featuring national, regional and local suppliers, selected to meet the needs of their care plan.

PHBChoices features real-time budget and expenditure tracking, secure online payment and invoicing. Benefits for CCGs are numerous including visibility of spend, and invoicing and receipting integrated with their existing Oracle finance system.

PHBChoices is also a simple way for suppliers to access the expanding PHB market as the NHS increasingly moves funds into the hands of PHB holders so they can create personalised care solutions. PHBChoices enables PHB holders to manage their budgets online and make purchases anywhere at any time. The PHBChoices marketplace is free to join for suppliers, with competitive transaction charges. The marketplace also speeds up payments to suppliers.

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