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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
A copy of the report summary and full report can be
Andrew Tyson, author of the report has also written a
blog post 'Twenty nine
ways to make personalisation real' providing some top tips from
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Similar programmes are also running in Yorkshire and Humber and
For more information about this programme of work, please