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CARE|PERSONAL BUDGETS
Getting upfront
and personal with Money
 Personal budgets have been available for spending on social care for a number of years. They were given a further push in the Care Act 2014, which placed a legal duty on councils to produce a care and support plan and offer a personal budget. Prior to this only guidance needed to be offered.
Now every person is legally entitled to a personal budget that must now be incorporated in every care and support plan (or a support plan for carers), unless a person is getting intermediate care or reablement (temporary) support to meet their identified needs. A local authority must provide a personal budget to whoever meets the regulations in the Act.
OACP is committed to supporting personal budget holders as part of our wider support to social care. In the following pages, find out about how personal budgets work, why the personal relationship between personal assistant and budget holder is so important, and an innovative online way of connecting budget holders and personal assistants. For more about OACP’s support to Personal Assistants: www.oacp.org.uk/personalassistants
What is a Personal Budget?
A Personal Budget is an agreed amount of money that is allocated to you personally by your local council (or the NHS as a Personal Health Budget) following an assessment of your care and support needs. Personal budgets offer individuals choice and control over their care, treatment and support.
Personal budgets can be implemented in different ways. Individuals may receive a direct payment equal to the agreed budget, which they use to purchase services themselves. Or the budget may be managed by statutory services or a voluntary sector broker, who purchase the services agreed on behalf of the budget holder.
Your personal budget allows you (or your representative) to control the financial resources for your support and the way the support is provided to you. In other words you control the money for your care and support.
Different ways to receive a personal budget
People’s needs vary and your person­centred assessment will reflect the areas you need support with. You need to think carefully as to how you want your care and support arranged in order to achieve your outcomes. Since you decide how you want to be supported and what works best for you to suit your care and support needs, you can receive your personal budget in a number of ways as stated below:
• You opt for direct payments – your local council pays some or all of your entire personal budget funding into your bank account or a separate bank account held by a person (e.g. third agent, support broker) nominated by you. You use direct payments to buy your own support.
• An account managed by the council (as indirect payments) – the council will manage your budget and will commission services on your behalf.
• As an Individual Service Fund (ISF) – the local authority pays an organization that provides support services and will follow your instructions in getting the services you need. The organization will be answerable to you. You will have a say about how services are provided to you.
Note: You can receive your personal budget by using a mixture of all three.
If you don’t qualify for additional public funding, and you will be funding your own care and support (called a ‘self­funder’), you can still discuss your support needs with your local authority. The council can assist you identify areas where you might need help and may be able to arrange you care for you.
To find out if you qualify from Oxfordshire County Council: Tel: 0845 050 7666 or Fax: 01865 783111
Or write to the Social and Health Care team: PO Box 780
Oxford, OX1 9GX
 Intermediate Care Services
are provided to patients – generally older – to help them avoid going into hospital unnecessarily, to help them be as independent as possible after discharge from hospital and to prevent them having to move into residential or nursing homes until they really need to.
Reablement is about helping people regain the ability to look after themselves following illness or injury.
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