Care services minister Paul Burstow has spoken of his disappointment at the number of people whose care packages are paid for with a personal budget.
Mr Burstow told the National Children and Adult Services Conference in Manchester that he believed just 13 per cent of service users – some 216,000 people – currently had such budgets.
“We know that personal budgets give people more control over their lives and in most cases they offer better outcomes at better cost,” he said.
“Personal budgets should be a right, not something that people just have to hope for.”
Mr Burstow had been expected to spell out the government’s vision for the future of social care at the biggest conference on the social services calendar, but his speech was less detailed than some had hoped.
He did confirm the government is keen to look at the widespread expansion of personal budgets beyond adult social services, saying that pilots involving health service and Department for Work and Pensions spending could be rolled out more widely.
Mr Burstow suggested the government was keen to address issues surrounding the “portability” of care packages, which can stop some residents moving from one local authority area to another out of fear they will not receive similar support.
“The problem of portability remains a 19th century logic at the heart of our 21st century system,” he said. “It’s the logic of the poor law.”