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

Key issues

Choice of support

A strong theme to emerge from both the research and policy literature was the central importance of support for people in managing their personal budget. Many personal budget holders and carers in this study were able to manage their personal budgets with little or no support, but for others support from family and friends, social workers, community psychiatric nurses and/or support provider and user-led organisations was vital. If people using services are to feel confident taking up a personal budget, they need to know what support is available to them; they also need to feel confident that such support can be adjusted quickly and easily if their circumstances change and they must have a choice about who provides that support. Although there was broad acceptance among personal budget holders that support of this type had to be paid for, there is perhaps a need for more work to explore creative ways of personal budget holders offsetting the cost with a contribution 'in kind'.