More than 80% of health and social care services users have little or no understanding of personal budgets, the new radical funding system for social care that is to be introduced over the next year, this in my humble view is going to lead to a chaotic transition period.
Local authorities face a huge task to prepare users for the shift to the system, which will see individuals given their own cash pot to spend on the services they need as they see fit, rather than having their needs assessed and decided upon by others.
By 2011, at least one third of all care users will be managing personal budgets.
In the past five years, more than 20,000 people in England have moved on to personal budgets, and within the next 12 months all new social care clients should be offered an individual budget at the outset.
Local authorities will need to ready themselves for a massive demand for personal assistants, education and leisure services, according to the research, which found that more than half of respondents would like to change the care they currently get.
There was also a strong demand for existing services such as day centres. And while personal budgets mean service users, and their families or representatives, can be responsible for sourcing and purchasing their own care placements and packages directly from the provider, local authorities were also warned to prepare for a potentially large number of people who do not want to manage their own budgets.
The transition to personal budgets will revolutionise health and social care, but local authorities do have their work cut out.
The BIG question for services user's and carers in Wiltshire must be IS WILTSHIRE COUNCIL READY for this leap into the brave new world ?