People with mental health problems are less likely than other eligible groups to use personal budgets, which give them direct control over selecting and paying for their own support. But when they do have them, the money is spent in imaginative ways. People tend to select things like gym sessions to manage their health, IT to build social networks and sleep-in support to alleviate mental health problems like paranoia. So why has personalisation not really taken off in mental health?
At the National Development Team for Inclusion, where I am chief executive, our analysis of Department of Health documents shows that 80% of personal budget spend is outside the public sector, while 80% of traditional spend is on NHS services. Crucially, people report (through the national POET survey and elsewhere) better mental health as a result of personal budgets.
Some of us need/want social care support without the anxiety/stress involved with the logistics of having a personal budget.