Putting People First is making progress, finds survey


More than one in five people receiving care services in the community will have a personal budget by April 2010, according to a new survey.
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and the Local Government Association found that councils across England were making progress in personalising adult social care.
The survey of 150 English councils (148 of them responded) found almost 93, 000 people were receiving personal budgets on 31 March.
But it predicted that this would rise to around 117, 000 people by the end of September and then 206,000 people by the end of March 2010.
The survey assessed progress during the first year of the government’s Putting People First programme, which aims to personalise adult social care services.
A report based on the survey concluded there had been “widespread general progress”.
Four out of five authorities surveyed said the “range and flexibility” of social care provision had improved.
But only 23 authorities said local information and advice services were “widely available” to everyone in their community and contained consistent content “to a great extent”.
Phil Hope, the care services minister, said progress was “very encouraging” and the figure of 93,000 was “well above my expectations for this stage”.
But he added: “It is clear that we have a long way to go to give everyone more choice and control over the care and support they receive.
“Local councils are clearly working hard to transform their systems to do this and we need to work together with local communities to ensure this progress continues.”