People who receive funded care are to be given their own personal budgets so they can choose the support services they want, under new government plans for an extra £520m of ring-fenced social care funding.
The announcement of “personal care budgets” came as leaders from central and local government and the NHS jointly signed an agreement called Putting People First, which aims to transform care services over the next three years.
In addition to personal care budgets, key elements of this programme include:
- High-quality care homes, home care and day services to be rewarded, while performers “failing to respect people’s dignity” no longer to be used by local councils and the NHS.
- Increasing access to advice and advocacy about community services, such as local community equipment providers, fall services or domiciliary support and transport links.
- Investing in support that keeps older people healthy and tackles loneliness and isolation.
- Closer collaboration between the NHS and local government so that people receive more coordinated and efficient support in the community.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: “These proposals for personal budgets will allow all those who would benefit from a personal budget to receive one, putting real control into the hands of those in care and their carers, leading to far more personal and responsive care.”
Health Secretary Alan Johnson said: “One of my top priorities is to develop a new care system which gives people maximum control over their own support services.
“This is a groundbreaking concordat because it is the first ever attempt by central government to coproduce a major public service reform in this case with local government, the NHS, people who use services and their carers.
“Our commitment that the majority of social care funding will be controlled by individuals, though personal budgets represents a radical transfer of power from the state to the public. Everyone, irrespective of their illness or disability has the right to self determinations and maximum control over their own lives.”
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Andy Burnham said: “Today’s world is one where we are moving away from citizens having to fit their lives around the system, to one where the system fits around the lives of citizens.
“Putting People First sets a very clear agenda for better joining up of services and increasing personalisation in social care – from maintaining people’s independence to creating person-centred packages of care.”