What is Personalisation

Personalisation or ‘personal budgets’ is a Government led national policy to ensure everyone who uses support should have the choice and control to shape their own lives and the services they receive.

The system puts the individual at the centre of the process and allows them to choose the service providers they use and the manner in which they receive support. The aim is to make services more personal and tailored to individuals needs.

For a more in depth look at Personalisation there are some elearning resources available covering what personalisation means and where it comes from. Covering legislation, policy and theory influencing the personalisation agenda. And a second resource looking at Putting personalisation into practice – Service user and practitioner’s perceptions of personalisation – Supporting an individual through the personalisation process. These resources can be accessed by clicking on this link – elearning personalisation resources.

A brief overview of Personalisation is given below.

People are now able to self-direct their care or support in a number of different ways:

A personal budget

A personal budget is money that is available to someone who needs support. The money comes from their local authority services.

The person controlling the budget (or their representative) must:

  • know how much money that they have for their support
  • be able to spend the money in ways and at times that make sense to them
  • know what outcomes must be achieved with the money.

An individual budget

An individual budget is money for support that could come from several places – including social services, the Independent Living Fund and Supporting People.

A direct payment

A direct payment is money that is paid directly to you so you can arrange your own support.

A personal health budget

Personal health budgets are relatively new and the Department of Health is still in the process of piloting them.

A personal health budget is an allocation of resources made to a person with an established health need (or their immediate representative).

Step 1: Your money – finding out how much

The first thing to do is to find out if you can get money for your support – and how much. The money you get to spend on your support is called your personal budget or individual budget.

To find out how much money you can get, you have to fill in a self-assessment form. Ask social services at the council if they have a form. If you need help to fill it in, ask someone who knows you well.

You have to show the form to a care manager or social worker.

Step 2: Making your support plan

The second thing is to make a plan about how you’ll use the money to get the life you want. You can do the plan yourself, or you can get help.

When you make your plan, think about:

  • what works and doesn’t work in your life at the moment
  • what is important to you and what you want to do
  • what support you want
  • ideas about how to make these things happen

Help to make your plan

You can get help from:

  • a friend
  • someone in your family
  • a broker: a broker is someone who you pay to help plan and sort out your support
  • your care manager
  • a social worker
  • someone who supports you now

Step 3: Getting your plan agreed

A social worker at the council has to approve your plan.

Your personal budget is the money you get for support.

Your plan must answer these questions:

  1. What is important to you?
  2. What do you want to change?
  3. How will you spend your money?
  4. How will you manage your support?
  5. How will you stay in control?
  6. What will you do next?

Step 4: Organising your money

You can organise your support in a way that suits you. You can get help to find and organise support.

There are two ways to look after the money:

  1. you can get the money yourself as a direct payment
  2. you can choose someone to look after the money for you

You can even do a bit of both.

The Mental Capacity Act says that some people need a Deputy or an Attorney. You can find out more about these from the Office of the Public Guardian: 0845 330 2900.

Step 5: Organising your support

You can organise your support in a way that suits you. You can get help to find and organise support.

You can choose how much help you get to sort out your support. People who can help are:

  • a friend or someone in your family
  • a broker – someone you pay to help you
  • a Trust – a group of people who the law says can look after your money for you
  • a Deputy or Attorney (under the Mental Capacity Act)
  • a service provider or organisation (a group of people who run services) that will look after your money
  • your social worker

Step 6: Living your life

You can use services but you can also spend your money on people who you know – or even buy things that will help you in your life.

There are things most people want in life – things like:

  • a nice place to live
  • feeling safe
  • having fun in your spare time
  • a job or something interesting to do in the day
  • being part of your community
  • friends
  • having a holiday

If you have a personal budget you can use it to get the life you want.

Step 7: Seeing how it worked

You have to show that you have used the money properly.

Your social worker needs to know how your plan is working and how you are spending the money.

Also, you can help other people organise their support: tell them what worked and what didn’t work for you.