Book review: 1 October 2009

Direct Payments and personal budgets: Putting personalisation into practice

Jon Glasby and Rosemary Littlechild

Policy Press ISBN 9781847423177

It is a big ask, when writing about personalisation, to cover all angles, making readers aware of the intricacies of policymaking and the importance of bringing about and accepting change. But the authors have managed to in this book, writes Denise Watson.

It explains the history and the future of community care and clearly illustrates the importance of disabled people taking control of their own lives, through direct payments and personal budgets, highlighting that taking risks, “like everyone else”, makes for wiser, stronger people.

Barriers and concerns are identified, including professional responses, blanket assumptions (which can lead to exclusion) and slow dissemination of information, all indicating ways to improve implementing future change.

There are many real life quotes and examples and Joe’s Story serves as an overwhelming example of success, where using self-directed support can indeed put people first, giving choice, control and independence.

The abundance of terminology makes the book an intense read, which may prove too challenging for some.

I was grateful for the regular boxed information, the summaries and the “implications for policy and practice” sections to condense what I had just read.

The conclusion brings together all the findings, reiterating that correct implementation is paramount to success. This book is important to all who need to understand individuals’ rights to independence.

Denise Watson is a former residential care manager of young adults with sensory and physical disabilities

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