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Early experiences in extending personal budgets in one local authority

Caroline Norrie (Caroline Norrie is a Research Fellow, based at the Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King's College London, London, UK.)
Jenny Weinstein (Hon Senior Lecturer at Kingston University, London, UK)
Ray Jones (Professor, based at the Joint Faculty of Health and Social Care, St George's, University of London and Kingston University, London, UK)
Rick Hood (Joint Faculty of Health and Social Care, St George's, University of London and Kingston University, London, UK)
Sadiq Bhanbro (Research Fellow, based at Centre of Health & Social Care Research, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)

Working with Older People

ISSN: 1366-3666

Article publication date: 2 December 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on the introduction of individual personal budgets for older people and people with mental health problems in one local authority (LA) in 2011.

Design/methodology/approach

Jenny Weinstein is a Hon Senior Lecturer at Kingston University, Professor Ray Jones and Rick Hood are based at the Joint Faculty of Health and Social Care, St George's, University of London and Kingston University, London, UK.A qualitative study is described in which structured interviews were carried out with participants belonging to each service user group. The study aimed to explore the following issues: first, service users’ experiences of the assessment process, second, whether service users wanted full control of their budgets and third, if personal budgets make a difference to quality of life.

Findings

xService users (n=7 older people and carers; n=7 people with mental health problems) found the personal budgets system and assessment process difficult to understand and its administration complex. Older people in particular were reluctant to assume full control and responsibility for managing their own personal budget in the form of a Direct Payment. Participants in both groups reported their continued reliance on traditional home care or day care services. These findings were reported back to the LA to help staff review the implementation of personal budgets for these two user groups.

Research limitations/implications

Study participant numbers are low due to difficulties recruiting. Several potential participants were not interviewed due to their frailty.

Practical implications

Studies of this type are important for constructing local knowledge about national policies such as the implementation of personal budgets in social care.

Originality/value

Studies of this type are important for constructing local knowledge about national policies such as the implementation of personal budgets in social care.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The project was funded by the Local Involvement Network (LINk). It was planned and carried out collaboratively between LINk service users, LINk host organization, the local NHS Mental Health Trust, Adult Social Services and the university. The authors would like to thank the Director of Adult Services for providing support and encouragement in undertaking and disseminating the research. The authors are grateful to all those who participated in the project and thank them for their time, commitment and support. The authors thank Jill Manthorpe for her assistance in writing this paper.

Declaration of interest: The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Citation

Norrie, C., Weinstein, J., Jones, R., Hood, R. and Bhanbro, S. (2014), "Early experiences in extending personal budgets in one local authority", Working with Older People, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 176-185. https://doi.org/10.1108/WWOP-07-2014-0019

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited