The PEOPLE Study aimed to:
- Develop an understanding of how personalisation is shaping the lives of people with severe mental illness (SMI)
- Understand the role of carers and family members in assisting people with SMI to negotiate challenges and opportunities offered by personalisation
- Understand how organisations and care staff are adapting to support people with SMI, within personalised models of health and social care.
It was guided by a Lived Experience Advisory Panel of people with lived experience of mental health issues and an interest in personalisation. This helped us to put together our data collection tools, recruit people to the study, gather local intelligence and analyse our data.
The study was funded by the Big Lottery Fund and led by Rethink Mental Illness and McPin in partnership with the University of Birmingham and King’s College London.
Personal budgets are being rolled out across the country with various degrees of success. The People Study focused on the impact of personalisation for people with a severe mental illness (SMI) – a group which has received less attention than others in the implementation and evaluation of personal budgets and personalised care.
People using mental health services can benefit from greater choice and control over the support they receive from local authorities. Personalisation allows care co-ordinators to work with their clients in a person-centred way, and allows the clients to have a lead role in support planning.
We used the findings from our research to develop three practical resources providing guidance to people who might be receiving, or considering receiving, a personal budget, their family members and mental health professionals.
The PEOPLE study was important and timely as it was the first to focus on people with severe mental health problems and the challenges in making sure the positives of personalisation reach them too.Professor Jill Manthorpe, King’s College London
The project used a longitudinal case study approach based in four local authorities, carried out over two main phases.
In the first phase, we used a combination of observation and interviews with 58 key stakeholders, including representatives from the local authorities, the mental health trusts and third sector organisations.
This phase explored the main challenges and facilitators to implementation of personalisation for severe mental illness.
Phase two was in-depth interviews with three groups:
- 54 service users interviewed up to three times over the course of a year to provide a longitudinal perspective. All service user participants had either received, were in the process for receiving, or had been declined personal budgets or Direct Payments.
- 20 family members and informal carers about their experiences of supporting someone with severe mental illness who received a Personal Budget
- 30 key workers about their experiences of and views on Personal Budgets for their clients
We put together the below resources from the evaluation:
Guides for mental health practitioners
Considering a Personal Budget: A guide to who could benefit from a personal budget and how to make an application
Thinking about outcomes: A guide to support planning for people with severe mental illness
Supporting your client through the process: A guide advising professionals on what support their clients need throughout the process of getting and managing a personal budget
Working with families: A guide highlighting some things for professionals to think about when working with families of individuals considering and/or receiving a personal budget
Reviewing a personal budget: A guide describing how reviews work, their potential benefits and common concerns
Reaching goals and moving on: A guide on reaching the end of a personal budget
Guide for families and carers
Family personal budgets in mental health: A guide through the process of considering, getting, managing and reviewing a personal budget.
Guides for people using mental health services
Is a personal budget right for you? A guide helping people consider whether or not they would benefit from a personal budget
Planning your support: A guide to support planning and deciding what to use the budget for
Checking your progress: A guide on reviewing a personal budget, including why reviews are needed, how they work and how to prepare for them.
For more information on the project, please email [email protected].
Personal Budgets - reaching goals and moving on
Personal Budgets in mental health – a guide for families and carers
Personal Budgets – checking your progress
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We are always excited to hear from others who want to collaborate on mental health research. From delivering peer research to helping you with public involvement strategies and providing training, get in touch to chat.