Budgets: Anti-Competitive Practice

The restriction of choice in personal budgets is unfair, unethical and potentially unlawful. But it is happening in a number of ways.

Southwark Council have decreed that SUs can only use council-managed personal budgets for services contracted by the council. If people want to use a service with which the council does not have a contract, they have to manage the budget themselves. This effectively means that, for instance, when voluntary sector homecare and day care contracts end, only those older people who are able and willing to take and manage a direct payment can access our services.

I believe this to be unethical and have asked the Public Law Project whether it is also unlawful. Any knowledge or views would be gratefully received.


Brenda Bond

Hi, I'm Brenda, previously Chief Executive of Age Concern Lewisham and Southwark (ACLS) and now carrying out a 6 month research and development project for the organisation. I have a childcare and nursing background plus too many years to mention in Age Concerns in the North East and in London. I'm a trustee of Age UK London and represent ACLS and the voluntary sector on various local fora. I'm interested in health and social care issues, human rights and social justice.

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2 thoughts on “Budgets: Anti-Competitive Practice

  1. I am a big believer of Personal Budgets and have spoken and met with users. Freedom and choice for users. The problem is this is a new way of delivering services and with that comes the initial issues. As the personal budget gathers speed more providers will be accessible. Officers are and need to change their mindset, safeguarding issues resolved but as you say some people will need help or someone else to administrate.
    Lincolnshire County Council is a leader in personal budgets. http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/residents/adult-social-care/asc-faqs/what-is-a-personal-budget/100426.article
    The range of services that users are receiving is good and it will get better as Personal Budgets develop. This could be very good, but we need consistency across the UK.

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