There are now 149 adult and children's services as well as
clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), (CCGs) signed up to measure
the impact personal budgets and education, health and care plans
are having on people's lives.
They will be using POET, the personal budgets outcomes
evaluation tool which has been developed over a number of years
with Lancaster University. POET was originally developed for adult
social care but it has recently been adapted so that children's
services and CCGs can also benefit from the tool.
A further 29 services have expressed an interest in using
Due to funding from the Department of Health, NHS England and
the Department for Education (DfE), we have been able to offer a
limited number of organisations use of POET for free.
In October 2014, together with Think Local Act Personal, we
Third National Personal Budget Survey sharing the experiences
of more than 4,000 people with personal budgets and their
The report, focused on the use of personal budgets in adult
social services and health across England and is the largest survey
to date looking at the impact that personal budgets are having on
More than 80 per cent of people surveyed said that a personal
budget had made things better or a lot better when it came to
dignity in support and quality of life.
At least two thirds also said their personal budget had made
things better or a lot better when it came to independence,
arranging support, mental health, control over their life, feeling
safe, relationships with family and people paid to support them,
friendships and self-esteem.
More than two thirds of carers also said that as a result of the
person they care for having a personal budget things had got better
or a lot better when it came to remaining well and being able to
continue caring as well as quality of life for them and the person
being cared for.
One of the most important findings was the very clear link
between people's experience of the process and the difference the
personal budget made to people's lives. Those that found the
process of getting and managing a personal budget easy were nearly
three times more likely to report good outcomes. Those that said
their views were included in the process were nearly twice as
likely to report good outcomes. People were also more likely to
report good outcomes if they had help to plan their support and if
they knew how much money was in their budget.
Interestingly the findings also showed that people who used
their budget for personal assistants and community-based support
rather than more 'traditional services' reported their personal
budget making a bigger difference to their lives.
Age or social care group seemed to make little difference to how
well the personal budget worked for people, nor did whether their
personal budget was held as a direct payment, an individual service
fund or managed by the council.
In July 2014, we also published a report on the outcomes
of EHC plans and personal budgets. This was a piece of work
that has been funded by the DfE to develop a version of POET able
to measure the outcomes of personal budgets and EHC plans for
children and young people with special education needs and/or
disabilities (SEND) and their families.
Cambridgeshire, East Sussex, Essex, Lincolnshire, Middlesbrough
and West Sussex councils took part in the work and worked with In
Control and Lancaster University to develop POET.
Parents, carers and practitioners reported broadly positive
results about the impact that EHC plans and/or personal budgets
have had on the lives of children and young people with SEND.
Findings showed that in seven of nine areas asked about at least 80
per cent said that things had worked well all or most of the time.
In four of the seven areas surveyed at least 75 per cent of
practitioners were positive about the process. At least 80 per cent
of respondents also reported that in five areas, things were better
or a lot better with an EHC plan and/or personal budget. Both
parents/carers and practitioners identified areas that needed to
improve including working in partnership and keeping the process of
getting an EHC plan or personal budget simple.
POET for children's services has now undergone further testing
with 20 children's services and a new report will be published in
April 2015. The tool will be made available to all children's
services by spring 2015.
If you would like to know more about POET, which services and
organisations are taking part, or find out if your organisation can
take part, then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org