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True portability of social care

23 May 2013

2nd National Survey of Personal Budgets shows better outcomes but there is concern about Local Authority processes and restrictions

Disability Rights UK welcomes the publication of Think Local Act Personal’s second national survey of people with personal budgets.  The survey of 3,300 people with personal budgets and carers was carried out for TLAP by In Control and the Centre for Disability Research at Lancaster University.

The findings support three of Disability Rights UK’s key concerns:

  • People who rely on health and social care services will only have choice about where they live when there is true portability of social care
  • More must be done to ensure disabled people in employment get the support they need
  • Local authorities should make the process of getting a personal budget or direct payment and monitoring arrangements much more straightforward saving time and resources.

The 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.
  • Councils continuing to find some aspects of the delivery process difficult. When people responded to the invitation to comment on their experiences, there was a high level of positivity in respect of impact on people’s lives, but people were much less positive about the personal budget processes.
  • Personal budgets had less impact in some areas including choosing where to live/who to live with, relationships with family, relationships with friends, getting and keeping a paid job and volunteering.
  • However, some councils do quite well even in the more difficult outcome areas suggesting others could make more progress. 
  • For all social care groups, councils making the personal budget process easier were robustly associated with better outcomes for personal budget holders. In particular, having a person’s views fully included in planning was very strongly linked to positive results. The same findings apply to carers.

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.

The full 2013 reports for personal budget holders and personal health budget holders, including detail of methodology and findings, are available from http://www.thinklocalactpersonal.org.uk/Browse/SDSandpersonalbudgets/