Personalised care and support

Self Directed Support and Personal Budgets

This is a system that empowers you to have choice and control of how your support needs are met and the way that this support is provided. This way of working is referred to as ‘Self-Directed Support’, sometimes known as ‘SDS’, and makes use of Personal Budgets.

What is a Personal Budget?

A Personal Budget is an allocation of money made by the Council that people use to meet their eligible needs. Personal Budgets give people who need support, choice and control to ensure that the support and services you receive meet your individual needs. When you receive a Personal Budget, you can choose to manage it yourself by getting Direct Payments, have it managed by the Council, or have it managed by your chosen provider (we call this an ‘Individual Service Fund’). Personal Budgets give flexibility in how your care needs are met. An example of this would be if you chose to attend a social club or pursue a hobby instead of attending a day centre, you may choose a personal assistant to assist you with your personal care instead of using a provider who the Council contracts with.

Who is eligible?

Personal Budgets are available for anyone over the age of 18 who is assessed as being eligible or Adult Social Care support. To request an assessment, please contact the Customer Service Centre (please see page 6 for contact details).

Customers include:

• older people;
• people with physical impairment;
• people with a learning disability;• people with mental health conditions;
• carers; and
• people with Asperger’s Syndrome and similar conditions.

This includes customers who already receive support from the Council.

How much do I get?

The amount you receive as a Personal Budget will depend on the outcome of your assessment of need.

How can I receive my Personal Budget?

You have a choice of how you would like to receive your Personal Budget to meet your eligible needs. The choices include:

• The money can be paid direct onto a ‘Pre paid card’ . You and your worker from the council will agree the amount to be paid onto the card, this will be paid at regular intervals. You will be able to pay for support to meet your eligible needs using your card.

• The money goes to someone who agrees to administer
it on your behalf. This money is then used in an agreed
way to meet your eligible needs.

• You have an Individual Service Fund. This is where a
provider of services administers the Personal Budget on
your behalf.

• The Council manages your Personal Budget and
purchases services on your behalf in consultation with

What can I use a Personal Budget for?

You can use your Personal Budget on things which help you meet your eligible needs and accomplish your outcomes and this will be agreed by the Council in a support plan. The limitations in using a Personal Budget are that it must be safe, legal, healthy and not used for any form of gambling.

Frequently asked questions about Personal Budgets

Will Personal Budgets affect the benefits that I receive?

No, the allocation of a Personal Budget from the Council will not affect any benefits that you receive.

What is the difference between Individual Budgets and Personal Budgets?

In Northamptonshire, the Council call the money that you can get from them a Personal Budget. An Individual Budget is money that can be made from other income streams including:

• Northamptonshire County Council (Personal Budgets);
• Independent Living Fund;
• Access to Work;
• Disabled Facilities Grant;
• Attendance Allowance/Disability Living Allowance (now called PIP); and
• Personal Health Budgets.

Will Personal Budgets affect my carer’s eligibility status?

No, it will not affect your carer’s eligibility status or any other benefits that you may receive.

Does the introduction of Personal Budgets mean getting rid of residential care?

No. For some people their needs can best be met in a residential care home. If someone chooses residential care (or any other form of support), it should be their real choice. When choosing or using residential care (or any other option), the person should know how much
it costs and that they can use that money to choose a different option to meet their outcomes if and when they want.

Do Personal Budgets only work for people who can manage their own money and support?

No, Personal Budgets work for all people who need support. There are lots of different ways that people can take control of their lives. People do not have to deal with the cash directly themselves to be in control of what their money is used to buy. There are different ways for people to control a Personal Budget, including taking the money as a Direct Payment, having the money managed by a provider (an Individual Service Fund) or having the money managed by Adult Social Care. Please visit the website for further information.

Personal Health Budgets

A Personal Health Budget (PHB) is an amount of money to support a person’s identified health and wellbeing needs planned and agreed between the person and their local NHS team.

The vision for PHBs is to enable people with longterm conditions and disabilities to have greater choice, flexibility and control over the healthcare and support they receive. In April 2014, people who are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare will have the right to ask for a
PHB including a Direct Payment. Email: or visit: