Personal Choice Programme

4. Dementia Friendly Personal Budgets

A personal budget is 'money that is allocated to a person by their local council to pay for care or support to meet their assessed needs. The money comes solely from adult social care. A person can take their personal budget as a direct payment, or choose to leave the council to arrange services (sometimes known as a managed budget) - or a combination of the two. An alternative is an individual service fund, which is a personal budget that a care provider manages on the person's behalf' (Think Local Act Personal (TLAP)).

Personal budgets are used in England, whilst Wales and Northern Ireland use direct payments. We want all forms of personal budgets, including direct payments, to be dementia friendly.

Personal budgets work for people with dementia, as they can provide people living with dementia choice, control and independence. They allow people to tailor services to their particular needs.

However, the process of acquiring a personal budget can be unnecessarily complicated and confusing for people. Through our research, we have found that people with dementia face several additional barriers when trying to access personal budgets.  

Making personal budgets more accessible

In order to make personal budgets more accessible to people with dementia and their carers we have:

  • Launched a campaign to urge local authorities to commit to making the personal budget process dementia-friendly.
  • Conducted an audit into local authority information in England on personal budgets for people affected by dementia, which included a mystery shopping exercise.
  • Created a charter for local authorities to sign up and show their commitment.
  • Developed a network to ensure lasting improvements are made as a result of the charter.

We will be supporting Local Authorities to implement changes through the creation of the Personal Choice Network. The Network will deliver a programme of webinars, supporting materials and regular bulletins, as well as giving Local Authorities access to a range of partner organisations with specialist expertise.