Councils need to engage users over personal budgets

While scanning the newspapers yesterday, this report in the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/oct/28/personal-care-budgets-jamie-bartlett caught my eye. It says that 80% of service users still don’t understand what personal budgets and personalisation is.

The article shows that many councils have really got their work to cut out to get the message out to the community and engage with them about what personalisation means for them – and the problems that could lie ahead for them in implementing it.

Those that have embraced personalisation and driven the implementation of personal budgets will be well placed, but those that have dragged their heels – for whatever reason – could be in serious trouble and will need to look at their policies quickly if disaster is to be avoided.

The personalisation agenda is here to stay – whatever the result of the next general election – so councils really have to get out there and talk to the community, whether it is through their website, service user events, advertising or whatever. Otherwise they could find themselves overwhelmed with demands from confused service users who are suffering because they weren’t well enough informed about what a personal budget was and now don’t have the right care.

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