When implemented well, personal budgets allow adults to try new ways to meet their social care needs, give them more choice and control over the care they receive and give them the opportunity to achieve the outcomes they want from their care. The Department of Health has demonstrated the potential of personal budgets to transform care and improve quality of life for most groups of social care service users but it is not doing enough to ensure that all can reap the benefits and it has not set out how it will judge success. We are not assured that local authorities can fully personalise care while seeking to save money and are concerned that users’ outcomes will be adversely affected. Local authorities face a substantial challenge supporting sustainable local care markets which offer the diverse range of provision needed for users to personalise their care, while care providers are struggling to recruit and retain appropriately qualified staff as financial pressures increase.
2 June 2016