Notts budget scheme receives praise

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The council has been praised after it went the extra mile to ensure disabled people could access information on personal budgets.

Nottinghamshire County Council is the only local authority in England that has produced specially tailored information on personal budgets for people with dementia.

Alzheimer’s Society made ‘mystery shopper’ calls to 60 English councils about personal budgets for the caller’s mother, who was recently diagnosed with early on set dementia.

County health chief councillor Muriel Weisz said: “The use of personal budgets and direct payments for people with dementia had been recognised as a particular challenge for local authorities. However, this project has shown that personal budgets can work well to divert and delay admission into long-term care, deliver good outcomes for people with dementia and are cost effective when combined with support from carers.”

The council worked with Alzheimer’s Society in 2013 and 2014 to improve how personal budgets and direct payment work for people with dementia and their carers.

A key priority was improving access to good quality information about personal budgets and raising awareness of the support available through frontline staff and partner organisations.

In particular, it worked with residents with dementia and their carers to identify and overcome barriers preventing them from accessing personal budgets and direct payments. An easy to understand leaflet was also produced to explain how they work. The project doubled the number of people with dementia receiving direct payments from 143 to 295 over the 2013/14 period.