Case studies of service users using personalised services
Direct payments and individual budgets, the main mechanisms used to deliver the personalisation agenda, have enabled some older service users and those with disabilities to radically transform how they receive their care. Not only can they decide what form their care takes and who delivers it, but they also make decisions over how the funds allocated to meet their needs is spent. This has led service users to think more creatively about how their needs are best met, with more emphasis placed on their wellbeing and lifestyle than was previously the case. Here are some examples of how this is being done:
Jim is a 30-year-old with learning disabiltiies and autism who for the past four years has used direct payments to fund fair trading (selling fair trade goods at events to local customers) and to organise charity music gigs that raise money for education projects in South Africa. He also employs two personal assistants who have a specific inteerst in fair trade and the music he likes.
Josephine had to cut short her career as a graphic designer due to the severity of rheumitoid arthritis. Her application for an individual budget gave her £324 per week of care. This is partly spent on massage, acupuncture and pedicures which help relieve some of the symptoms of the condition. Of most significance though is the employment of three personal assistants 30 hours a week to provide care and take her out on shopping trips. Finding PAs that could drive was hugely important giving Josephine regular contact with the outside world, whereas previously she’d been unable to get out much.
Mrs N, a 69-year-old music teacher from West Sussex, has a number of health difficulties including spondylitis, arthritis and glaucoma. She was allocated £203 per week to meet her needs through an individual budget and decided she wanted to be the one in charge of how this would be spent. She changed the care agency providing domiciliary care to a local one, saving her money that was then spent on funding a car cleaner, gardener and chiropodist. She also employed her grandson, who was a student, as a personal assistant to take her on weekly shopping trips.
Links to further good practice examples from Community Care of how personalisation is changing people’s lives below
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