HSMC’s Robin Miller is co-author of a new guide to Individual Service Funds (ISFs) – one of the most innovative and least well-developed forms of personal budgets in health and social care.  Rather than giving money straight to people using services (a ‘direct payment’) or asking a social worker to manage the money on someone’s behalf (a ‘managed budget’), ISFs involve the person giving the money to a trusted service provider and then working with them on an ongoing basis to negotiate how the money can best be spent. 

Instead of having to have the same service each day, this might involve having less support during a ‘good’ week and banking time to get extra support to go on holiday, or choosing to meet needs one way for one week, then choosing a different approach next week.  This way of working has massive potential, but is often overlooked – and this new guide provides the definitive introduction to anyone interested in this way of working.