Over 70 per cent of people who hold a personal budget for social care said it led to greater independence and support according to the latest survey.
It was led by Professor Chris Hatton from the Centre for Disability Research at Lancaster University and the social care charity In Control on behalf of Think Local Act Personal. The survey makes use of the Personal Budgets Outcomes and Evaluation Tool (POET) developed by the University and the charity together.
Every year nearly one and a half million people in England turn to their local council for personal care and support due to their age or disability. Almost six million adults in the UK are believed to spend time caring for disabled or older family members.
Personal budgets are available to all recipients of ongoing state funded social care and the 3,300 people surveyed who use personal budgets in social care and their carers reported positive results.
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.
Chris Hatton, Professor of Psychology, Health and Social Care, said: “The biggest survey yet of people using personal budgets and their carers shows us how personal budgets can work really well. It also gives signposts for what we need to do to make sure that personal budgets work well for everyone who uses them."
For the first time, the same survey was also run with 195 people who hold personal health budgets and 117 carers. This group reported similar positive results as those with social care personal budgets.
The results of the survey will also be used to advise central government on policy implications.
Julie Stansfield, Chief Executive of the charity In Control said: “We have always advocated that the success of personal budgets depends on people being able to fully direct their support. The National Personal Budget Survey clearly shows that when this is the case, personal budgets have a positive impact on people’s lives.”