SCIE Report 63: Improving personal budgets for older people: A research overview

Published: January 2013

Review date: January 2016

This short report is an evidence overview of key pieces of UK research between 2007 and 2012, which focused on the implementation and uptake of personal budgets and direct payments for older people (including those with dementia) in England. It is not a systematic research review or an exhaustive examination of published research on the topic. Rather, it aims to give an overview of the main themes of research findings which help to identify the challenges and solutions to improving choice and control for older people (including those living with dementia) through the use of personal budgets and direct payments.

This work supports ‘Improving personal budgets for older people: A review’, published by the Think Local Act Personal partnership and supported by SCIE.


Early findings on the barriers and facilitators for older people using and benefiting from direct payments predicted many of the challenges for implementing personal budgets for older people. These findings have been further established in later evidence on personal budgets. More detail is now known about what helps and hinders, and how direct payments can work for older people with dementia. The following are some of the key themes from the UK literature overview:


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