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.