Local Authorities urged to make personal budgets dementia friendly

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Fewer than a third of people receiving social care support for problems with memory and cognition have a personal budget, despite the government’s aspirations for a person-centred care and support system. The Care Act gives everyone who is receiving support from social services the legal right to a personal budget, offering them greater choice and control over their care and support.

An Alzheimer’s Society audit of local authorities’ personal budgets processes has highlighted how the majority are falling at the first hurdle, with many failing to make people with dementia aware of their entitlement to a personal budget. 

Alzheimer’s Society has produced a personal budgets guide of easy and cost-effective actions councils can take to improve the personal budgets process for people with dementia and their carers. Today, the charity is urging all local authorities with adult social care responsibilities to sign the Dementia-Friendly Personal Budgets Charter to demonstrate their commitment.

Commenting on the benefits of personal budgets for people with dementia, George McNamara, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Society, said:

'Personal budgets are essential to delivering person-centred care, giving people with dementia choice and control over the care and support they receive.

'People with dementia and their families tell us of the very real impact personal budgets have had on their lives – from the 85-year old woman who returned home after being left alone in her care home room each day with no way of communicating, to the husband and wife who are now able to go dancing in Blackpool dancehall each week.'

Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friendly Personal Budgets Charter enables local authorities to demonstrate their commitment to people with dementia. Pledges include:

  • Producing relevant and clear information on personal budgets for people with dementia that always explain all the available options and methods for receiving a personal budget
  • Training all staff involved in care and support planning in the personalisation agenda  to ensure accurate and appropriate information is provided at all times
  • Having a timely and transparent assessment process that clearly explains how they have decided on the amount of money a person will receive
  • Collecting robust data on the uptake and outcomes of personal budgets for people with dementia so that services are continuously improved.