How can the benefits of personal budgets for people with mental illness be sustained after the payments stop?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • N. Clewett
  • S Hamilton
  • J Manthorpe
  • Vanessa Pinfold
  • P. Szymczynska
  • J Larsen


One aim of mental health social work is to promote recovery and independence for people accessing services. Personal budgets, which can now be requested by all mental health service users in England, can enable service users to achieve these outcomes. This paper addresses the lack of evidence on service user understandings of the purpose and duration of their personal budget, and their experiences of personal budgets ending. We draw on interviews with 53 mental health service users and 28 practitioners. We identify how different factors affect the sustainability of the outcome: the type of outcome identified, how far service user and practitioner understanding of outcomes are shared, and the ability to continue activities after the budget ends. We draw out learning for practitioners and policy makers on improving the sustainability of outcomes achieved through personal budgets, and improving service user experiences of their endings.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-126
JournalResearch, Policy and Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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