SCIE Report 40: Keeping personal budgets personal: learning from the experiences of older people, people with mental health problems and their carers

Key issues

A consistent theme in research into personal budgets has been the importance of people simply knowing about their existence

Introduction

The research carried out in recent years into direct payments, individual budgets and now personal budgets clearly shows that these forms of self–directed support can enhance people's sense of control and satisfaction with services. However, significant barriers to taking up and making the most of personal budgets have also been highlighted, particularly for older people and people with mental health problems. This research has focused very strongly on learning from the experiences of personal budget holders and carers to identify ways in which practice can be improved to support independence, choice and control. However, managers and practitioners from organisations across the study sites often reinforced the points made by personal budget holders or shed light on the organisational barriers or 'successes' personal budget holders experienced as they moved through the personal budget process.

In this section we draw together a number of key themes and issues, and where possible link these back to the findings from earlier research and policy. Some of these themes and issues relate to specific stages in the personal budget process, while others are more over–arching. They are primarily written to assist those 'in the field' who are implementing personal budgets, but some have wider policy implications.

In this section

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  • SCIE Report 40: Keeping personal budgets personal: learning from the experiences of older people, people with mental health problems and their carers