The personalisation agenda

Working Paper 30

Personalisation has been identified as ‘a cornerstone of the modernisation of public services’ (Department of Health, 2008: p. 4) and much interest in this concept has arisen recently.  However, there is a high degree of confusion over what personalisation is and the types of changes that will be associated with this agenda. There are many ways in which the concept of personalisation might be interpreted. All of these have different implications for service users and providers, particularly in terms of the mechanisms introduced to try and facilitate these changes. 

Personalisation has a considerable history and has the potential to offer very different services to those that have been delivered in the past.  Moreover, the philosophy of the personalisation movement is aligned with the values that a number of third sector organisations have been advocating for some time.  Personalisation is more than a passing political fad and third sector organisations need to think carefully about how they will respond to and shape the many changes which have already started to happen and that will increase in momentum over the coming months. 

This paper sets out the major features of the personalisation agenda, and the key research, policy and practice implications of this for the third sector.  Personalisation offers the potential for much improvement in the way individuals with care needs are supported, but might also mean significant changes for providers involved in the delivery of welfare services.  It is important that third sector bodies understand these implications and are able to respond to them appropriately - or else they risk losing out in this change process. 

Research contact

  • Helen Dickenson