An In Control survey of more than 3,300 people who use
personal budgets in social care and their carers has found positive
results when people have taken up personal budgets.
This is the second National Personal Budget Survey. The
first report was published in June 2011.
The survey found that:
- Over 70 per cent of people who hold a personal budget reported
a positive impact on being independent, getting the support they
need and want and being supported with dignity.
- Over 60 per cent reported a positive impact on physical health,
mental wellbeing and control over their support.
- A further 50 per cent reported a positive impact on feeling
safe in and outside their home, and in their relationships with
The survey found only small numbers of people reporting
any negative impact.
Twenty-two volunteer councils in England took part in the
survey. The work was undertaken on behalf of Think Local Act
Personal (TLAP) by In Control and led by Professor Chris Hatton
from the Centre for Disability Research at Lancaster University and
John Waters from In Control.
The survey utilised the Personal Outcomes and Evaluation
Tool (POET) which has been developed over a number of years
by In Control and Lancaster University. Its aim is to provide a
national benchmark on the impact that personal budgets are having
on people's lives.
For the first time, the same survey was also run with 195
people who hold personal health budgets and 117 of their carers.
This group reported similar positive results as those with social
care personal budgets.
Other key findings included:
- Councils continuing to find some aspects of the delivery
process difficult. When people responded to the invitation to
comment on their experiences, there was a high level of positivity
in respect of impact on people's lives, but people were much less
positive about the personal budget processes.
- Personal budgets had less impact in some areas including
choosing where to live/who to live with, relationships with family,
relationships with friends, getting and keeping a paid job and
- However, some councils do quite well even in the more difficult
outcome areas suggesting others could make more progress.
- For all social care groups, councils making the personal budget
process easier were robustly associated with better outcomes for
personal budget holders. In particular, having a person's views
fully included in planning was very strongly linked to positive
results The same findings apply to carers.
- Most carers of personal budget holders also reported positive
experiences saying it made their life better in terms
of finances (52 per cent), having the support you need to continue
caring and remain well (69 per cent), carers quality of life (60
per cent), and carers' physical and mental wellbeing (53 per
Minister for Care Services Norman Lamb, said: "We
want to give people the power to be able to look after themselves
and be fully involved in their care. This is why our Care Bill
gives people who use care services, and carers, the right to a
"Allowing people to make decisions to improve the quality of their
life is very important. We must move from a system of crisis care
to a preventative system where people are supported to live
independently for longer."
Writing in the report's foreword, Norman Lamb also
said: "The shift to self-direction in adult social care and
other areas of public service is perhaps the biggest cultural
challenge we have tackled, and we are still in the early stages,
working in challenging times. The Government remains committed to
supporting TLAP and councils, working with ADASS and the LGA to
continue and build on the progress made to date."
Julie Stansfield, Chief Executive of In
Control said: "We have always advocated that the
success of personal budgets depends on people being able to fully
direct their support. The 2nd National Personal Budget
Survey clearly shows that when this is the case, personal budgets
have a positive impact on people's lives. The survey has also
echoed our increasing concerns regarding processes and restrictions
placed on people. These challenges must be addressed if
personalisation is to truly make a difference to people's lives. We
urge all councils to check outcomes and experiences with local
people regularly and systematically and to co-produce plans to
deliver improvements based on these results."
Think Local Act Personal co-chairs, Marjory
Broughton and Clenton Farquharson welcomed the survey
findings and said: "This survey tells us people's lived
experiences are improving in most areas of life following receipt
of a personal budget. However we should remember that some people
benefit more than others and further work needs to be done to
ensure all people have the opportunity to achieve greater
Dr Sam Bennett, Director of Think Local Act
Personal, the Partnership that commissioned the survey,
said: "Delivering personal budgets using the principles of
self-directed support leads to the best results. Crucially, the
significant differences in results across councils can help us
learn from those achieving the best results. However, personal
budgets alone cannot guarantee personalisation. They are one
important element and, given their recent inclusion in the Care
Bill, it is vital that we focus attention on how to make them work
well for all."
The full personal budget and personal health budget reports can
be downloaded below together with summary documents.
To find out more about the report and In Control's POET
tool watch a presentation here
Read John Water's blog post here.
Any councils wishing to find out more about how they use POET
locally to check personal budget outcomes, benchmark with others,
and develop improvement plans can visit our webpage
here or contact Martin Routledge, In Control's Head of
Operations directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to find out more about POET, how you can use
this tool locally, or just keep updated on its development, please
contact email@example.com or
contact John Waters on 07403 413 476.
Links to Think Local Act Personal webages