ndtiA new guide has been published with the aim of increasing the number of people with mental health problems accessing personal budgets.

Paths to Personalisation, published by the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi), offers examples of what needs to be in place to make personalisation work in mental health. It provides examples drawn from latest practice and policy and up-to-date sources of advice for people.

Currently, only 9% of people with mental health problems have a personal budget, compared to 29% of older people and 41% of adults with a learning disability.

Co-produced with people who use mental health services and service professionals, the guide helps organisations meet Government priorities to increase people’s choice and control over the care and support they experience.

Mental health personalisation

Rob Greig, chief executive of NDTi, said: “The aim of Paths to Personalisation is to provide a tool to start checking what needs to be in place for personalisation in mental health, and planning what action can be taken to ensure that it is.

“Our experience of working with colleagues across the mental health system is that they’re absolutely signed up to the principles of personalisation, and are looking for ways to translate this into practice for as many people as possible.

Paths to Personalisation describes the wide range of things that need to be in place for a personalisation approach to be a common experience, not an exceptional one, for people with mental health needs.”

The guide has linked its framework with Making it Real, the set of progress markers by the Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) partnership – an alliance of over 30 national social care partners – that describe what people who use services and carers expect to see and experience if support services are truly personalised. Each section of the framework suggests which Making it Real progress marker it can help organisations deliver against.

Sam Bennett, director of the TLAP partnership, said: “People with mental health difficulties should experience the full benefits of personalised services, but research has shown attitudinal and cultural obstacles can get in the way. Paths to Personalisation helpfully demonstrates what needs to be in place for personalised services in mental health.

“By helpfully linking to the Making it Real progress markers, organisations can take another step towards ensuring the services they commission or provide truly reflect what people say they need so they can have more control in living full and independent lives.”