Carers Trust has published a new report setting out key recommendations on Government plans to provide personal budgets for carers.

Progressing Personalisation reviews how well these plans have been implemented so far, and makes key recommendations for improvement in the future.
 
The Government’s Vision for Adult Social Care stated that councils should provide personal budgets to everyone who is eligible by April 2013, although it has recently been reported that this has been revised to 70%.
 
The Government’s preferred type of personal budget is a direct payment, which is an in lieu cash payment made to eligible individuals to give them more choice, control, and flexibility in how their social care is provided.
 
Confusion over eligibility
 
One of our key findings is that there is still confusion amongst carers over their eligibility for personal budgets and direct payments, and limited understanding about how personal budgets can be used.
 
Progressing Personalisation also found inconsistencies between local authorities’ approach to delivering personalisation. The way in which personal budget allocations are calculated varied between regions, and there are noticeable differences in what carers can or cannot spend their personal budgets on. 
 
In other words, the level of flexibility and choice experienced by carers in spending their personal budgets, has varied depending on where they live.
 
Better support and flexibility needed

The report contains key recommendations on how personalisation of care can be improved going forward. These include:

  • Better support and guidance for carers to help them understand  their rights and entitlements to personal budgets
  • An assessment process that takes into account the needs of the whole family and explains to carers the reasons behind their personal budget allocation
  • Greater levels of choice and flexibility based on the carer’s personal preferences so that they feel empowered to tailor support to meet their specific needs.