Emma’s story

An integrated personal budget

Emma lives in Nottingham with her husband Kevin and their two young children. Emma has a brain and balance disorder that includes epilepsy.

Emma’s journey

Emma initially received a care package that included domiciliary services from different agencies. This didn’t suit her needs at all and resulted in different carers each day.

When her seizures increased, her package changed to include a personal assistant to come while Kevin was away from home at work. This was good in theory, but it didn’t take into account the fact that Emma’s seizures were unpredictable – if the personal assistant wasn’t around on shift, her two young children as young carers would have to put her in the recovery position and alert someone for help on their own. Emma was spending more and more time in and out of hospital after injuries resulting from falls.

Emma had a review of her care and support plan at this point, where she discussed with her care professionals what would work best for her and their family. Which was to employ Kevin as her full-time personal assistant. This would mean that having him at home would keep Emma safe while also minimising emergency admissions, time in hospital, and recovering afterward, which then results in sizeable savings for both the NHS and social care.

The robust and detailed care and support plan that Emma, Kevin, and their social care worker had put together led to plan being approved by Health and Social Care. Kevin is now Emma’s full-time personal assistant, assisted by their children as young carers.

The integrated personal budget I have has made me feel so much more confident and in control of what is important to us as a family and the flexibility of it all. My quality of life and mental wellbeing has improved so much as I am not socially isolated anymore. I believe that the freedom and flexibility are key.” Emma

Kevin joined the My Life Choices co-production group, where their experience has become invaluable to the group and to health and care professionals.