Report into the lived experience of Personal Budgets within Essex with a particular focus on Direct PaymentsDownload (PDF 346KB)
Summary of report content
Healthwatch Essex undertook research to inform Essex County Council’s redesign of direct payments for social care. They spoke to 27 people.
When an individual had a consistent and robust relationship with a dedicated social worker who understood their needs, they were positively satisfied with their Personal Budget. When this relationship was not in place, feelings differed substantially.
Understanding what a personal budget is and how it works can be a challenge for some people. This section focuses on the importance of regular ongoing communication and feedback.
Although a direct payment is intended to increase the flexibility of choice and control, numerous factors suggest this is not always the case and has even been described as an ‘impersonal budget’.
The report contains 4 recommendations.