Personalisation, commonly referred to as the transformation of adult social care, is at the heart of our work at Mental Health Matters. Similarly to the personalisation agenda, we believe in putting service-users at the centre of service provision and delivering person-centred support. Put simply personalisation is an individualised approach ensuring that services are tailored to the needs of the individual, rather than one size fits all.

Personalisation began as a movement within disability circles after many service-users and their carers were frustrated with ‘top-down,’ paternalistic care planning which did not allow for individual agency or control. The national charity In Control went on to lead a number of pilot sites with Department of Health funding in 2008 to trial personalisation in action. The pilot was an enormous success leading to the implementation of the personalisation agenda from 2009 onwards.

We believe in putting service-users at the centre of service provision and delivering person-centred support.

The concept of the Personal Budget was born out of the programme which gave many people true flexibility, choice and control for the first time in their lives. Personal Budgets are an allocation of funding awarded to service-users after they are assessed for services and can be given as a cash payment, known as a Direct Payment or an Individual Service Fund (ISF) where a provider such as Mental Health Matters manages the money on behalf of the person.

At Mental Health Matters we are committed to Personalisation within both Health and Social Care services. We provide a number of services which are tailored for service-users with a Personal Budget, for example in Easington, Darlington and North Tyneside we offer activity-based day services for people in receipt of a Personal Budget. Activities which people can purchase vary from creative writing to arts and crafts.

Our services aim to empower people to have real choice and control over their lives …

Our services aim to empower people to have real choice and control over their lives and enable them to access services they require. We are also exploring the personalisation agenda in health and are keen to deliver personalisation principles in our primary care services. The personalisation agenda for health which ended as a pilot programme in October 2012 will soon see the advent of the Personal Health Budget for eligible NHS patients.