About us

Peoplehub is unique because it has its roots in three key strands:

  • We all have direct experience of personal health budgets or integrated personal budgets either as an individual who has one or as a family carer.
  • Network members have played a key role in influencing national policy and supporting the NHS England personal health budget delivery team.
  • Members are also integral to the Integrated Personal Commissioning Programme (IPC) which recognises the importance of developing new models of care directly with people and communities

This includes:

2009 : Membership of the Department of Health personal health budget pilot programme board.

2011 : Leading the development of the Department of Health personal health budget peer network.

2014 : Developing and delivering a personal health budget peer leadership programme

2015 : Membership of the Integrated Personal Commissioning Programme Board

We are working to develop personal health budgets and integrated personal budgets by:

  • Speaking at national conferences
  • Commenting on emerging policy
  • Writing and contributing to papers and reports on personal health budgets and integrated personal budgets
  • Leading the NHS England national personal health budget peer network
  • Facilitating local personal health budget peer networks
  • Creating and delivering tailored workshops on personal health budgets e.g. introductory and care planning workshops
  • Developing and delivering a personal health budget peer leadership development programme.

Peoplehub network CIC has established itself as the credible voice of people with direct experience of personalised health services. We are therefore uniquely placed to continue influencing developments and implementation at a local and national level.

 Who we are

Jo Fitzgerald


Jo lives in the northwest of England with her husband, Stan. Jo’s life was      profoundly transformed when her eldest son, Mitchell, was born twenty three years ago with a severe learning disability and complex health needs. The experience of being Mitchell’s mum has largely influenced the direction of her life; it has shaped her beliefs, values and life choices. Mitchell became one of the first people in England to have a personal health budget which enabled him to live at home and lead a full life until his death in March, 2015.

Jo has become a passionate exponent of self-directed support in health and is actively ‘spreading the word’ about personal health budgets; she is a regular speaker at national events. Jo was a member of the Department of Health Personal Health Budgets Programme Board 2009 – 2012 and is currently a member of the Integrated Personal Commissioning Programme Board. She leads the NHS England personal health budget peer network and has co-designed and delivered a successful personal health budget peer leadership programme.

Jo is a fully qualified counsellor and was awarded an MA in Counselling with distinction from the University of Manchester in 2008.

Colin Royle

colinColin completed a degree in Psychology in 2005 and has experience of working   in the health and social care sector having worked with the National Autistic Society for three years whilst completing his degree. In 2006, he began working in the forensic psychology department at HMP Manchester where he facilitated Cognitive Behavioural Therapy groups focusing on tackling substance misuse

He moved on in 2007 and transferred to HMP Preston where he became the manager of an Offending Behaviour Programme.
Around 3 and half years ago, Colin began looking after his dad who had been diagnosed with early onset dementia. Over the last twelve months, he has actively engaged in the Department of Health personal health budget peer network. Colin has spoken at several high profile events and has contributed to a variety of workshops as part of the personal health budget pilot programme

Rita K. Brewis

ritaRita has a life- long commitment to improving support across health and social care. At the heart of her work is the pivotal contribution of individuals and their families, integrated with the perspectives of professionals and commissioners.

Her approach is to encourage developments which focus on the whole person in their social context – working with people’s strengths and skills as well as addressing health or social care needs. She is therefore particularly pleased to have been invited to be a co-founder of peoplehub.

Rita has worked independently for several years and also in Local Authority, Voluntary Sector and Health Service settings; including as a Director of Mental Health Commissioning, Senior Service Development Consultant for the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health and as an Approved Social Worker.
(Rita’s qualifications include an MSc in Social Policy and Social Work Studies, a Professional Qualification in Social Work, a BA (hons) in Psychology and English, and a post-graduate Certificate in Management.)