Getting Personal? Making Personal Budgets Work
This report from the Alzheimer’s Society (UK) focuses on the use of personal budgets to meet the government’s personalisation agenda. It suggests personal budgets offer many benefits for people with dementia and carers but that they are not suitable for everyone, so that other options must be available. Considerable burden was associated with accessing and using direct payments, and attitudes and understandings of health and social care professionals were identified as a barrier. There is a limited market range of services available and insufficient funding was highlighted. Criteria for eligibility were found to be problematic with many people not becoming eligible until a situation reached crisis point.
The report recommends full involvement of people with dementia and their carers in the personal budgets agenda, that personal budgets must not be seen as a cure-all for the social care system, that the market should be fully developed to deliver a range of different types of dementia services, that the personal budgets system should be adapted to meet the particular needs of people with dementia and their carers, that timely and appropriate information for people with dementia and their carers must be provided as well as awareness raising and training for health and social care professionals, and that the system must ensure an improved evidence base on dementia, including pilot sites to evaluate effective models of provision and accurate data on current use of personal budgets.