Personal budget initiative working well in Cheshire

IN A bid to ensure local people are getting the best from their personal budgets, Cheshire West and Chester Council has consulted with local residents to find out how the service, which was introduced a year ago, is working.

The consultation focussed on how the local authority can further improve people’s lives and the council has responded by taking action to implement some of the changes people wanted.

A personal budget is the amount of social care funding to meet eligible people’s assessed needs. A person can take it as cash through the Direct Payment Scheme, the council can arrange services direct, or people can have a mixture of both.

Overall, people’s experience of personal budgets was positive.

Improvements suggested and now in progress by the council include: a new fact sheet with clear guidance on what a personal budget can be used for; investment in systems for quicker, development of a single contact number for all enquiries.

Director of Adult Social Care and Health, Mark Palethorpe, said: “Personal budgets are already making a huge difference to people’s lives. However, we want to make sure that we continue to deliver services that are tailored to what people actually want, and not what we think they want.

“We will only do this by listening to what they tell us.”