Quality statement 2: Empowering people to manage their personal budget

Quality statement

People using adult social care services have as much control as they would like over their personal budget.

Rationale

Giving people who have a personal budget for social care services, funded by the local council, control over their budget allows them to exercise influence over how their care and support is provided. It can enhance the person's quality of life by allowing them to choose the services they believe they would benefit from. They are then more likely to engage with services and participate fully with them, which means they can achieve the outcomes identified as important to them.

Quality measures

Structure

a) Evidence of local arrangements to inform people who have a personal budget for social care services funded by the local council and who are using adult social care services that they have the option to control their budget to buy the services that are important to them.

Data source: Local data collection, such as audits of care and needs support assessments and care and support plans.

b) Evidence of local arrangements to inform people who have a personal budget for social care services funded by the local council and who are using adult social care services of the different options for managing their budget.

Data source: Local data collection, for example audits of care and needs support assessments and care and support plans.

c) Evidence of local arrangements for providing accessible information on personal budgets and peer support on using them.

Data source: Local data collection, for example information services, audits of the availability of peer support such as user-led centres for independent living, and surveys on the experience of people using adult social care services.

Process

Proportion of people using adult social care services who have a personal budget for social care services funded by the local council and whose views were included when their support was planned.

Numerator – the number in the denominator whose views were included during support planning.

Denominator – the number of people using adult social care services who have a personal budget for social care services funded by the local council.

Data source: The Personal Outcomes Evaluation Tool for adults in receipt of social care support includes a question on whether people's views were included when their support was planned.

Outcome

Satisfaction of people using adult social care services who have a personal budget for social care services funded by the local council with the help they receive to use their budget to choose the support that is the most important to them.

Data source: The Personal Outcomes Evaluation Tool for adults in receipt of social care support includes a question on the choice and control that people using adult social care services have on how their personal budget is spent. Local data collection such as surveys on the experience of people using adult social care services can also be used.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Service providers (such as peer-support services including centres for independent living) ensure that systems are in place to advise people who have a personal budget for social care services funded by the local council how they can use their budget and that support is available to help people manage this. This advice and support should cover the different ways that the personal budget from local authorities can be provided.

Social care practitioners (such as social workers and occupational therapists) are aware of the options for people who have a personal budget for social care services funded by the local council to use their budget for social care services. They explain to people using adult social care services the options for using the budget and the different types of support they can access to help them with this. This will give people the opportunity to consider how they wish to spend their budget and how they would like it to be held.

Commissioners (local authorities) ensure that they commission services and supply funding to voluntary and peer services that allow and support people who have a personal budget for social care services funded by the local council to manage it. They ensure that systems are in place to advise people who have such a budget how they can use it and that support is available to help them manage this. This advice and support should cover the different ways that the personal budget can be provided.

People using adult social care services who have a personal budget for social care services funded by the local council are able to influence and exercise control over how their budget is managed. They receive information on the different ways their personal budget can be managed and the different options they have to use it. They can choose how they would like to receive their personal budget and how they would like to use it to pay for their social care. They have support to help them make these decisions if they wish.

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Personal budget

Money that is allocated by the local council to pay for care or support to meet a person's assessed needs. People can take their personal budget as a direct payment, or choose to let the council arrange services (sometimes known as a managed budget) or a combination of the two. An alternative is an individual service fund, which is a personal budget that a care provider manages on the person's behalf.

[Adapted from Think Local, Act Personal's care and support jargon buster and expert opinion]

Equality and diversity considerations

People using adult social care services may have several needs, for example help with communication. Services should ensure that people have the help they need, for example through an independent advocate or communication aid, to understand the different options for using their personal budget and supported to manage this as far as is possible.

People should be provided with information about the options they have to control and use their personal budget that they can easily read and understand themselves, or with support, so they can communicate effectively with social care services about this. Information should be in a format that suits their needs and preferences, for example Braille. It should accessible to people who do not speak or read English, and it should be culturally and age appropriate. People should have access to an interpreter or independent advocate if needed.

For people with additional needs related to a disability, impairment or sensory loss, information should be provided as set out in NHS England's Accessible Information Standard.

People in the travelling community might not be resident in the same area for a long period of time. Practitioners should consider how to support people from the travelling community to manage their personal budget when they move to another area.