This At a glance briefing is a summary of people’s experiences of using self-directed support and personal budgets. It focuses on people with mental health problems and their carers. It is based on a six month study, which also included older people. The IBSEN national evaluation of the 13 Department of Health individual budgets pilot sites concluded that although individual budgets could give people a greater sense of control and satisfaction with services, there were differences in the uptake and outcomes for older people and people with mental health problems.
This research provides more detailed evidence to inform good practice in personal budget processes for people with mental health problems and older people. It involved five local authorities and draws primarily on the experiences of personal budget holders and carers, supported by the views of practitioners and managers. Sixty-nine personal budget holders and carers, 40 practitioners and managers and 12 support provider organisations (including five user-led organisations) contributed to the research.