Direct Payments and Personal Health Budgets

Direct Payment and Personal Health Budget Support, Advice and Guidance

Disability North is a user-led Disabled Persons Organisation. We have been providing advice and guidance on Direct Payments for over 20 years.  Our support is available to all in the North East, North Yorkshire and York who wish to exercise their use of choice and control and choose their own Direct Payment Support.

We also offer our support to local councils and those delivering Personal Health Budgets within the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS)


We work in partnership and are commissioned by Newcastle City Council to deliver their Direct Payment Support Service.

There is no cost to those living in Newcastle to use our Direct Payment Support and we have a dedicated team who will support you if you have or are looking to have a direct payment.

Many of our team use direct payments themselves and use them to employ Personal Assistants for themselves or family members.

You can contact us on or 0191 2840480 and ask for the Direct Payment Team.

There is someone available Monday to Friday 9:00am-5:00pm

For more information on our advisors please visit our About The Team page.


In addition to our offer of Direct Payment/PHB Support we have an excellent payroll service committed to person-centred customer service. With over 20 years of experience in payroll you can be assured of a joined-up service between the set-up of your direct payment right through to the first payment of your PAs.  With our ongoing support options we will work alongside to support you for as long as you require.

Our Support Offer

We recognise that individuals may need varying levels of support. We have used our extensive experience in providing support and have built our support offer with this in mind (click here for our menu of services).

If you are outside of Newcastle and know what support you require please complete this registration form. To view our comparison table of support please click here.

If you require something that does not appear to be listed or you would like a more bespoke support please do get in touch to discuss your requirements. Our experienced team will be happy to assist you and can be contacted on or by telephone on 0191 2840480

Our support will provide everything from advice on record keeping to guidance with employing quality support staff; we can also assist in the recruitment of Personal Assistants, provide employer training, along with budget management support. Employing a Personal Assistant can feel daunting at first but we will ensure you have the advice, guidance and tools to be a confident employer.

  Service User Feedback

“I needed to employ a new PA and was given excellent support throughout the whole process.”

“I was very happy with the support I was helped with everything when I had to dismiss a PA due to medical reasons. It was very stressful, but they helped me out every step of the way. I couldn’t have done it without them”

“My husband’s needs were continually changing, and the staff were very sensitive and responsive to the situation.”

Video from RUILS on the role of a Personal Assistant:

How a Personal Budget works:

If you have been assessed as being eligible for Social Care services you should be offered a Personal Budget to pay for your assessed Social Care needs. Instead of having to use traditional services, for example, the council contracting with an agency on your behalf, you can now choose how you meet your needs. A support plan will be written up between you and your Social Worker, which outlines how you will use your Personal Budget. You can choose how you receive your Personal Budget:

Virtual Budget – This is where the council continues to commission services outlined in your support plan and pay for them on your behalf.

Direct Payment – This is where you receive your budget direct in 4 weekly amounts over the year, you are then responsible for using that money as set out in your support plan and keeping proper financial records.

Indirect Payment – This is where someone manages the budget on your behalf, this could be a family member or an outside agency. They manage the money and pay for the services as outlined in your support plan and they keep the financial records.

How can I access a Direct Payment?

Direct Payments are available to everybody who has eligible care needs including:

  • Disabled adults over 16 years
  • Parents of disabled children
  • Disabled parents of a child
  • Carers
  • People with learning disabilities
  • People using mental health services

The first thing to do is to contact your local authority or council and ask about an assessment from your local social services. You can find your nearest local authority or council here:

UK GOV – Direct Payments

For assistance with requesting an assessment, please contact a member of our team using the contact details above.

Personal Health Budgets:

A Personal Health Budget is an amount of money allocated to support your healthcare and well-being needs. This isn’t extra or new money, but a different way of spending health funding to meet your needs. A Personal Health Budget can give people with long-term health conditions and disabilities more choice and control over the money spent on meeting their health and well-being needs. A Personal Health Budget should have person-centred care and support planning at its heart. A good support plan will help you to identify your health and well-being goals and will set out how the budget will be spent to enable you to keep healthy and safe.

For more information visit and feel free to contact us for more information.


As I put my out of office on and send my last email of 2023, I thought I would write a blog in an attempt to sum up what a busy and fulfilling year this has been. I confess taking on my new job role: ‘Engagement and Inclusion Lead’ at Disability North was quite daunting, […]