Personalisation of adult social care: Self-directed support and the choice and control agenda

Sophie Kendall, Ailsa Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Accessible summary: This study explores the impact differing ideas about personalisation has on the way in which self-directed support operates, particularly in the light of cuts to social service budgets. Six participants from a local authority social care transformation team, five from a user-led organisation and two national experts were interviewed. The findings suggest that whilst generally a positive process, in some cases, self-directed support has become confusing, and personal budget holders have had less say over how their outcomes are met. The research is useful for people with learning disabilities as it provides an insight into what is happening in local authorities and the impact of the cuts on self-directed support. Summary: In 2007, 'self-directed support' was introduced in adult social care in England to establish choice and control - in the assessment process itself and over service provision - for all service users. The personalisation agenda is underpinned by a range of ideologies, particularly a civil rights empowerment approach and neoliberal market discourses. This research sought to explore how tensions between these discourses are reflected in the operation of self-directed support, particularly in the light of the changing political and economic climate. The small-scale study involved semi-structured interviews with 13 participants: six professionals from a local authority social care transformation team, five from a user-led organisation and two national experts. The findings suggest that whilst the choice and control agenda may be consistent with market discourses, it is not compatible with neoliberal aspirations of cost-cutting. To maintain trust and provide as much opportunity for choice and control as possible, the adjustments being made to the personalisation agenda in the light of the current budgetary pressures need to be made explicit to service users.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-271
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Learning Disabilities
Volume42
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014

Keywords

  • Budget cuts
  • Choice
  • Control
  • Personalisation
  • Self-directed support
  • Support planning

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