SI in the Public SectorPersonalised budgets in the UK
In Control is a UK based charity that helps local authorities to establish systems that give users financial autonomy over their own care. The charity was a pioneer of the concept of ‘self-directed’ support. This allows people with particular care needs to purchase products or services that might fall outside the remit of traditional care services. For example, it might be that an individual most needs help getting out and socialising. A personalised budget would allow them to pay for someone to accompany them out to an activity on a regular basis. This can also have a major positive impact on regular carers, often a family member, who needs respite. In some cases the budget is held and spent by the individual user, and in others the public body (e.g. a council) administers the budget according to the user’s specifications. Personal budgets have been rolled out in England since 2008, with a target of providing every service user with one by 2013.