Herefordshire Council is encouraging people to get more creative when choosing how they spend their adult social care budgets.
The way adult social care is provided has changed significantly over the last couple of years with people being given more choice than ever before on how they spend their personal budgets.
When someone contacts the council for help, their needs are assessed and, if they meet the criteria, they will be allocated a personal budget which they can use in a number of ways to meet their needs.
The council is trying to encourage people to think about how they can get creative about the choices they make and therefore avoid social isolation, maintain hobbies and interests and continue to enjoy independent living.
Making it Real is a national survey-based project that aims to find out what local people’s experience is of this new way of working.
The Making it Real survey was carried out over the summer in Herefordshire. The results have just been published – in summary progress is steady but more could be done to improve the way personalisation benefits people.
Ruth Leak, self-directed support manager, said: “In the past, people have chosen to spend their personal budget on traditional services like home care, meals on wheels or day centres. But they could choose other options like maintaining hobbies and interests or participating in clubs or societies.
“They could also consider employing a personal assistant to manage this for them. Making choices like this helps people to have an active and happy social life and remain independent for longer.”
A group of service users, carers’ representatives, and care organisations are getting together to look at how people’s experiences of personal budgets can be improved. The group wants to look specifically at improving the way people receive advice when they need it, helping people to live in active and supportive communities and improving people’s understanding about the way their personal budget works.