New report: Supporting the North West on Personal Budgets

Over the past 12 months we have been carrying out a programme of work with ADASS and the North West Transition Alliance to support North West councils in the implementation of personal budgets.

As part of this work councils in the region identified three key areas for exploration and further development with regards to personal budgets. To assess practice in these areas, we surveyed councils, social care user groups, providers and other organisations in the region.

The areas looked at were:

  1. Minimum Process - in some council areas process has been made more complicated, not simpler. The process that someone needs to go through to get and manage a personal budget puts many people off. Councils have been overcautious and have heaped new processes on top of old, instead of replacing the old with the new.
  2. Managed personal budgets - there has been inreasing public criticism of those personal budgets which are not direct payments and especially those that are managed by council staff. Some people say that in places these arrangements give no more choice and control than directly provided services.
  3. The workforce - the success of personalisation in social care is almost entirely dependent on the knowledge, skills and confidence of the workers employed to manage the process as well as those provider staff who work with people on a day-to-day basis. In some places morale is low and some staff find it hard to see that personalisation will make any difference.

This paper summarises the challenges faced in these areas, highlights good practice taking place and makes recommendations for improvement for individual councils and for the region as a whole.

A copy of the report summary and full report can be downloaded below.

Andrew Tyson, author of the report has also written a blog post 'Twenty nine ways to make personalisation real' providing some top tips from the report.

We will be holding a webinar on 26 September at 10am to present the findings of the report in more detail and what these mean for other regions. To register for a place at this webinar please email

Further information on other work carried out during the programme can be accessed on these pages.

A second phase of work in the North West starts this month in support of the delivery of Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) and will last until 2014. The programme will support the roll-out of Making it Real - TLAP's new markers of progress and will further work in the delivery of effective and efficient personal budets  as well as market development, the implementation of personal health budgets, personal budgets for children and building community capacity.

Similar programmes are also running in Yorkshire and Humber and London.

For more information about this programme of work, please contact

Leave Comment

Last Updated : 21 September 2012. Page Author: Laura Bimpson.