Personalisation in adult social care was one of the hot topics at this year’s Community Care Live. The conference saw the launch of the latest National Personal Budgets Survey, which polled 3,400 service users and carers on the impact of personal budgets on their lives and how they had found their council’s processes for setting up a personal budget.

The headline of the research, published by Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) and carried out by self-directed support charity In Control and Lancaster University – was that the outcomes from personal budgets were mostly good.  However that service users and carers were less positive about council processes and that an easy process led to better outcomes.

One of the report’s authors, Martin Routledge, head of operations at In Control, presented on the findings at the conference. A key message he conveyed to social workers from the research was that their role was critical in ensuring good outcomes for service users from personal budgets.

He pointed out that the processes associated with good outcomes include:

  • People having their views included in the support planning process
  • People having their council make it easy for them to obtain information and advice
  • People being in control of how their budget is spent and plan and manage their own support

It is clear that the work of social workers is crucial in all these areas.

An experiment was carried out with the audience of the discussion – most of whom were social workers in adults’ services, asking them to divide themselves into those who were optimists about the impact of personal budgets, those who were pessimists and those who were somewhere in between.

The optimists and in-betweeners were pretty evenly split; but a pleasant surprise was that only three hands went up when he called for pessimists.  This may be an optimistic view due to the people attendance at the Community Care Live conference but let’s hope this is a good reflection of how most social workers feel about personal budgets.

Here at Home Care Direct we are one of the UK’s leading personalisation organisations, providing a range of services to those individuals receiving personal budgets.  For over 10 years we have been passionate about personal budgets and the choice and control they provide to people. We recognise that personal budgets give people the chance to choose, employ and organise their own personal assistants – an opportunity to have full choice and control over their care at home.  It’s great to see that the outcomes for people using personal budgets are generally positive and that there is so much optimism with adult social care about how personal budgets can be made easier and more accessible to people.

We also recognised that many people who want this choice and control don’t want to be their personal assistants employer – with all the hassle and legal requirements involved. Therefore, through Home Care Direct services people choose their own personal assistants and we’ll employ them on their behalf – all the benefits without the headaches!  Take a look at some of our testimonials and case studies to see how we help hundreds of people improve their lives and live independently through personal budgets and direct payments.