Thursday 17 August 2017
Think Local Act Personal has released Gathering the Evidence: Making Personal Budgets Work for All. The report sets out a direction for improving the evidence base for personal budgets.
The National Audit Office’s (NAO) report on Personalised Commissioning in Adult Social Care, published in March 2016, drew attention to the lack of a coherent evidence base for the impact of personal budgets. Gathering the Evidence addresses this ‘evidence challenge’ by working with colleagues from across the care and support sector, including people with lived experience, and experts in research and evaluation.
The key conclusions are that the impact of personal budgets must be viewed within the broad context of personalisation and wider system transformation. This requires a plurality of approaches to gathering evidence, whilst preserving a focus on the experience and insights of people receiving care and support and carers as central to evaluation. The overarching purpose of gathering and using evidence is to make sure that personal budgets work for all. With that purpose at the forefront the main themes arising from our work are that:
• More use could and should be made of the existing comparative data and evidence in order to shed light on the reasons for variation in outcomes and experience.
• As much as possible, evidence should be generated from mainstream systems, using routine and commonly collected data.
• The development of any new measures and approaches to research and evaluation should be informed by people with lived experience and carers.
• There is considerable scope for improving sharing of evidence of what works best and applying this in practice more consistently.
• The development of evidence should embrace the ambition to achieve integrated care and support for people reflecting the reality of people’s lives rather than service boundaries.
• There is a need to develop a coherent, proportionate and sustainable longer term strategy for gauging the impact of personal budgets (including well conducted evaluations in areas of concern), which will require leadership from the Department of Health, in partnership with the care and support sector.