What is personalisation and how do ‘personal budgets’ or ‘direct payments’ work?

Personalisation is a term that the government introduced a few years ago, allowing you more choice and control over the services that you receive – for example you can choose an organisation to provide your care, when you receive it and how often you receive it. However, the Council can still make the arrangements on your behalf if you prefer.

If you are over 18 you will receive a ‘personal budget’ if you are assessed as eligible for care by St Helens Council. You will need to set up a separate personal bank account for these ‘direct payments’ to be paid in to, and for auditing purposes you will need to keep and submit any receipts for services that you purchase. Direct Payment monies will have to be repaid to the Council if they are not spent in line with your individual support plan. Again, the Council or a social care provider can look after the payments for you if you prefer.

You can then decide how to use this money to help with your needs e.g. paying for a personal assistant to help with care, participating in leisure activities, paying for someone to support you at college or in employment.

For more information about personalisation visit:

  • The Council’s My Life, My Choice website or contact the Contact Centre on 01744 676 789
  • DASH (Disability Advice St Helens)
  • St Helens Coalition of Disabled People
  • Making Space
  • Age UK