Individual budgets for social care work for some people but not others

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 24 October 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2272
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

    Individual budgets for social care can give users more choice, flexibility, and control over their personal care compared with conventional support, a two year pilot scheme has shown. Users of mental health services and younger disabled people, in particular, reported benefits, but older people were less happy to manage their own support.

    The programme was set up by the Department of Health to evaluate the costs, outcomes, and cost effectiveness of individual budgets as part of Putting People First (BMJ 2007;335:1231, doi: 10.1136/bmj.39426.592176.DB).

    Pilots were set up in 13 English local authorities, and an independent evaluation by five university research units was commissioned. The evaluation included a survey of 959 people interviewed about their experiences and outcomes six months after being offered an individual budget.

    An individual budget brings together resources from different funding streams into a …

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