A central element in the shift to a ‘personalised’ care system in the UK is the opportunity for disabled people to hold and manage budgets for the purchase of care and support, to replace local authority services. The delivery mechanisms of ‘Direct Payments’ and ‘Individual Budgets’ have allowed many disabled people to control their care and support better, and have promoted their social inclusion. However, the particular contexts and issues for people with learning disabilities in holding personal funding have been little considered. The paper sets out the broad themes of the introduction of personalised care, and examines the limited use by people with learning disabilities of Direct Payments and the subsequent development of Individual Budgets. The paper considers the challenges to the nature, spaces and relations of care commonly used by people with learning disabilities that personal budgets present, in particular for those with more severe disabilities. The paper concludes by suggesting ways in which people with learning disabilities can use personal budgets, whilst maintaining the collective relations and spaces of caring desired by many.
- People with learning disabilities
- Individual Budgets