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Peter Beresford

March 2016

Personal budgets in social care are sums of money allocated by a local authority to service users to be spent on services to meet their care needs. Local authorities spent £6.3 billion on long-term community care in 2014–15. Around 500,000 adults in England received personal budgets in 2014–15, varying between 10% and 100% of users across authorities. The Care Act made personal budgets mandatory for all eligible users from April 2015. Much of the positive evidence for personalising commissioning, however, is old or relates to subgroups of users. As such, the National Audit Office undertook to report on the Department of Health’s work in the area, to understand the effectiveness and value for money in terms of outcomes for users. Shaping Our Lives presented evidence to the Committee of Public Accounts on this inquiry, arguing that the personal budgets strategy employed by the government and local authorities was fundamentally flawed. Shaping Our Lives Chair Peter Beresford told the Committee that the strategy was creating a wasteful parallel process that “cannot replace the process of identifying specific, individual needs and the resources required to meet them” and that “A personalised system of assessment of need must allow for the full individuality of the lived experience of need for the individual to have a level of well-being that is right for them.”
In partnership/with support of: Committee of Public Accounts
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