An analysis of personal social care budgets in Cornwall

Download (PDF 2.89MB)

Summary of report content

In a joint project with Disability Cornwall, Healthwatch Cornwall conducted an investigation into the experiences of local residents who receive a personal health budget. The project aimed to identify the policy and process for accessing budgets and the experience of recipients. Between September and December 2014, a survey was completed by 160 people receiving a personal budget. Detailed case studies were developed for a comprehensive overview. Five key findings emerged from the engagement. The respondents’ feedback about timelines for the Council's decision-making and to receive the funds were mixed. Some claimed they waited long periods to receive a decision and to receive their budgets and others had a positive experience. Variable levels of satisfaction were recorded. Respondents reported low levels of satisfaction with the process while waiting for a response from Cornwall Council, but this was increased once they had received their budgets. The respondents had differing understandings of what the budgets can, and cannot, be used for, this was highlighted particularly in the case studies. The respondents understanding of the budgets relationship to the respondent’s support plan, or the awareness of the support plan, was lacking. Furthermore, people felt that they would benefit from ongoing involvement throughout the process of receiving a budget and the delivery of reassessments where their circumstances may change. The report made a number of recommendations related to the five main findings. Healthwatch Cornwall suggested for the Council to develop performance indicator targets for the length of time applications are processed and the receipt of funds. The council to develop satisfaction indicators for use by the service users and for more clarity about the support plan. They recommended that services should be in place to review spending after the budget is in place and for staff to receive training on assessment and application processes. The report did not include a response from the service provider.

Would you like to look at:

General details

Report title 
An analysis of personal social care budgets in Cornwall
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Cornwall
Date of publication 
Thursday, 12 March, 2015
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 1 September, 2014
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 1 December, 2014
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Complaints procedure
Information providing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Other information of note about this report 
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Yes, Disability Cornwall
Primary research method used 
User stories
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event

Details of health and care services included in the report

Social care services 
Adult social care

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Long term condition

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
Specific ethnicity if known 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.