News and Comment

Personal Budgets for Adult Social Care: Video Case Study No. 1 – Tim

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Ahead of the publication of our joint 3-year longitudinal study with Essex County Council evaluating the impact of Personal Budgets, we’re reflecting on the impact the personalisation agenda has had on specific people with social care needs in Essex. First up, in our series of video case studies, is Tim.

Meet Tim – a 49 year old and with muscular dystrophy. Tim lives with his wife Lisa and uses his Personal Budget to employ personal assistants. In this video we join Tim and Lisa as they go about their daily lives. Tim and his personal assistant Dean are out at the barber’s, after which they run errands including browsing at the local bookstore and filling the car with petrol. For Tim, having someone like Dean available to support him means he doesn’t have to rely on Lisa for these tasks, giving him a greater sense of freedom and independence. Dean also accompanies Tim on leisure activities such as going to football matches, meaning he is able to live a fuller life, participating in activities that he enjoys. We also see his wife Lisa talking about how with the care and support provided by Personal Budgets, she is able to get out of the house for activities such as indoor sky diving or spend time with her grandchildren.

Tim also describes the benefits of being able to choose who to employ to help him with the support he needs. For Tim, having access to consistent, flexible and personalised care from someone who is in tune with his needs is one of the best things about being on a Personal Budget. He likes that he has been able to get to know his personal assistant and feels that this would not have been possible if he was accessing carers through a care agency. This highlights how the local market in Essex has played an important role in ensuring that Tim is able to make the most of his Personal Budget. The availability of a range of providers has meant that he has been able to purchase high quality services of the type that he is looking for.

Finally, we see how Tim’s own confidence and organisational skills have also played a role in making his Personal Budget work for him. Tim, for instance, has quickly learned how to successfully manage his Personal Budget, a task which for some people can be stressful, time-consuming and difficult.

Previously in this series: How do Personal Budgets impact on the friends and family of those who use them?