1st National Personal Budget Survey

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Undertaken for The Think Local Act Personal Partnership by In Control and the Centre for Disability Research at Lancaster University, the survey aimed to identify the outcomes and experiences of people using personal budgets - and those of their family carers - so the adult social care sector can build on the positives and better understand what improvements are needed.

It is the biggest survey of service users and carers undertaken in England to date, giving people a voice to share their views and experiences in their own words. The findings will help councils to re-shape their approach to social care, as informed by local people.

Implications that can be drawn from the survey results include:

  • Personal budgets work better for older people than you might expect and direct payments work just as well for older people as everyone else.
  • The processes used for delivering personal budgets are more difficult than they need to be and that impacts badly on carers and on personal budget recipients.
  • More work needs to be done to make direct payments more accessible generally but especially to older people.
  • There is a need to simplify and clarify the rules and regulations surrounding personal budgets.

The current Coalition government has said it is committed to ensuring personal budgets are available to all recipients of ongoing state funded social care by 2013 as a response to rising public expectations of choice and quality and increasing demand.