SCIE Report 40: Keeping personal budgets personal: learning from the experiences of older people, people with mental health problems and their carers
Moving to a personal budget
Positive practice example
Council C has developed a 'personal budget booklet' specifically for people who use services, which covers all the main aspects of personal budgets in a concise and easy to read form. It is given to anyone interested in having a personal budget and includes specific information about the different options people have for managing their personal budget. One personal budget holder explained:
The booklet was excellent; it contained everything you need to know about personal budgets; it was available in braille and large print. It went through each process very clearly.
Council E has produced a personal budget pack called 'Living the life you choose' which is designed to be used by both personal budget holders and staff. The pack contains copies of the self–assessment questionnaire, a support planning toolkit and information about who to contact for further information.
Jenny cares for her mother who has Alzheimer's disease but is still able to live independently in her own home. Jenny feels that her mother was provided with very good verbal information, even though she is finding it more and more difficult to understand things. Her mother's social worker came to her home and explained to them both what a personal budget is and how it could improve her mother's quality of life. They also had a home visit from a worker from the local support provider organisation who explained the different ways of managing a personal budget. Jenny says that having the process explained verbally made it much easier to understand and made taking on a personal budget feel less daunting. She is however concerned that some people who might benefit from a personal budget do not know enough about them and are deterred by the fear of having a lot of paperwork to read. She said,
I don't think people realise that you get as much back–up and assistance as you do … at any point if I've got a problem I can either ring somebody [at the provider organisation] if it is to do with the finance side, or if I've got problems with mum and her care I can ring social services.
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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