SCIE media statement

Can personalisation lead to cost-efficiencies and improved productivity?

25 Janary 2011

A new Report and At a glance briefing are launched today, looking at personalisation and productivity in social care.

The report and briefing examine the potential that providing personalised services brings, especially with people who use personal budgets and self-directed support. The report highlights the emerging evidence and looks at a range of case examples.

SCIE’s Director of Adult Services, David Walden, says:

We now know that self-directed support and personal budgets can lead to a better outcomes and greater independence if implemented properly; this can be done for the same cost as traditional services. But councils need to check that they are offering greater choice and control by overhauling business processes, building community capacity and shaping the market. There is evidence to suggest that they can save costs by streamlining processes and improving commissioning.

The report concludes that there is not enough robust data available to make conclusive, evidence-based decisions on whether personalisation to date has resulted in efficiency savings, reduced costs and improved productivity in adult social care. However, there is some evidence to suggest that self-directed support and personal budgets could lead to improved outcomes in individual cases for the same cost if implemented efficiently and effectively.

Most notably, it appears that the personalisation agenda is stimulating change in business processes and administrative and management systems. The evidence so far shows that this appears to have reliable potential to generate efficiency savings and improve productivity in certain areas:

Case Study – Richmond Upon Thames

Here is one example of how progress is possible. In Richmond Upon Thames, there are 1,700 people with a Personal Budget, with over 80% of people eligible service users.  The latest analysis shows that nearly two thirds of people with a Personal Budget reported an overall improvement in their quality of life and in some cases this is also achieved at a lower cost than traditional services. 

Head of Finance for Adult and Community Services at the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames, Jeremy DeSouza, says:

Having implemented systems to provide Personal Budgets, we have reviewed our assessment and care management processes. We are reducing costs by nine per cent in this area, allowing more resources to be used on Personal Budgets given to individuals to meet their care and support needs.

Policy context

A new sector-led partnership agreement, launched in 2010, agreed that councils, health bodies and providers need to work more closely to personalise and integrate service delivery across health and adult social care and make vital public funding go further. Think Local, Act Personal has brought together 21 leading organisations across health and social care to support the contribution individuals, families, carers and communities make in providing care and support - both to those who are publicly funded and those who either pay for support themselves or rely on family carers. SCIE Senior Research Analyst Sarah Carr is speaking on 25 January at an event, Personal Budgets for All.

New film on personalisation

Social Care TV also launches a new film on personalisation today. ‘Personalisation; making it happen - the social worker’s perspective’ looks at such issues as giving practitioners time to build relationships with service users.


See also:

Media contact

Steve Palmer | Press and Public Affairs Manager | Tel: 020 7766 7419 | Mob: 07739 458 192 | Email:


A note about efficiency - ‘Efficiency’ encompasses issues of cost reduction, cost neutrality and waste reduction (‘efficiency gains’ are achieved where costs are reduced and outcomes maintained or improved). A service can be described as offering ‘value for money’ where there is an optimum balance between three factors – relatively low cost, high productivity and successful outcomes.