2nd National Personal Budget Survey

The 2nd National Personal Budget Survey recorded the views of over 3,300 people who use personal budgets (PBs) in social care and their carers; it found positive results for people who have taken up PBs.

The national survey found that:

• Over 70 per cent of people who hold a personal budget reported a positive impact on being independent, getting the support they need and want and being supported with dignity

• Over 60 per cent reported a positive impact on physical health, mental wellbeing and control over their support

• A further 50 per cent reported a positive impact on feeling safe in and outside their home, and in their relationships with paid supporters. The survey found only small numbers of people reporting any negative impact.

Twenty-two volunteer councils in England took part in the survey. The work was undertaken on behalf of TLAP by the charity InControl and led by Professor Chris Hatton from the Centre for Disability Research at Lancaster University and John Waters from InControl. For the first time, the same survey was also run with 195 people who hold personal health budgets and 117 of their carers. This group reported similar positive results as those with social care personal budgets.

Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb said:
"We want to give people the power to be able to look after themselves and be fully involved in their care. This is why our Care Bill gives people who use care services, and carers, the right to a personal budget.

"Allowing people to make decisions to improve the quality of their life is very important. We must move from a system of crisis care to a preventative system where people are supported to live independently for longer."

Think Local Act Personal co-chairs Marjory Broughton and Clenton Farquharson welcomed the survey findings and said:
"This survey tells us people's lived experiences are improving in most areas of life following receipt of a personal budget. However we should remember that some people benefit more than others and further work needs to be done to ensure all people have the opportunity to achieve greater independence."

Dr Sam Bennett, Director of Think Local Act Personal, the Partnership that commissioned the survey, said:
"Delivering personal budgets using the principles of self-directed support leads to the best results. Crucially, the significant differences in results across councils can help us learn from those achieving the best results. However, personal budgets alone cannot guarantee personalisation. They are one important element and, given their recent inclusion in the Care Bill, it is vital that we focus attention on how to make them work well for all."

Julie Stansfield, Chief Executive of the Charity InControl said:
"We have always advocated that the success of personal budgets depends on people being able to fully direct their support. The 2nd National Personal Budget Survey clearly shows that when this is the case, personal budgets have a positive impact on people's lives. The survey has also echoed our increasing concerns regarding processes and restrictions placed on people. These challenges must be addressed if personalisation is to truly make a difference to people's lives. We urge all councils to check outcomes and experiences with local people regularly and systematically and to co-produce plans to deliver improvements based on these results."