Effectiveness of individual budgets remains to be proven

There is as yet little evidence to support the roll out of individual budgets, a social care research expert said at the National Children and Adult Services conference.

Alison Petch, director of Research in Practice for Adults, said that while this year’s health and social care white paper heavily promoted individual budgets, their effectiveness remained to be proven.

Petch said the evaluation of the In Control scheme, published this month, which found benefits for service users in giving them personal budgets for care services, was “based on very small numbers and broad satisfaction ratings”.

Individual budgets are being piloted in 13 areas and the pilots are being evaluated by academics from York University, King’s College London and the Personal Social Services Research Unit.

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