Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The personalisation agenda: implications for the third sector

By Helen Dickinson and Jon Glasby


Personalisation has been identified as being ‘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 which have different implications for service users and service providers, particularly in terms of the mechanisms which have been 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 underpinning philosophy of the personalisation movement is aligned with the types of values which 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 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 drawing on existing evidence sets out the key research, policy and practice implications of this for the third sector. Personalisation offers the potential for much improvement in terms of the way in which individuals with care needs are supported, but might also potentially 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 these appropriately or else risk losing out in this change process

Topics: H Social Sciences (General), HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Publisher: University of Birmingham
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2008). 1: Transforming social care. Department of Health,
  2. (2007). A new epoch of individualization? Problems with the 'personalization' of public sector services.
  3. (2006). A report on
  4. (2008). A report on in Control's second phase: evaluation and learning 2005-2007. in Control
  5. (2009). At your service: navigating the future market in health and social care.
  6. (2008). Budget-holding lead professional pilots: final report.
  7. (2009). Building Britain's Future.
  8. (2006). Choice, control and individual budgets: emerging themes. Social Care Institute for Excellence,
  9. (2007). Commissioners and providers together: the citizen at the centre. CSIP and
  10. (1996). Defining impairment and disability: issues at stake. In C.Barnes and G.Mercer (Eds) Exploring the divide: illness and disability.
  11. (2006). Developments in direct payments.
  12. (2009). Direct payments and personal budgets: putting personalisation into practice.
  13. (1999). Direct routes to independence: a guide to local authority implementation and management of direct payments. Policy Studies Institute,
  14. (2005). Education and Skills
  15. (2002). Emancipatory disability research. In C.Barnes, M.Oliver, and L.Barton (Eds) Disability studies today.
  16. (1995). Empowerment in Community Care.
  17. (2008). Evaluation of the individual budgets pilot programme: final report.
  18. (2004). Foreword. In C.Leadbeater (Ed) Personalisation through participation: a new script for public services.
  19. (2004). Friend or foe? Towards a critical assessment of direct payments. doi
  20. (2005). Implementing the Community Care (Direct Payments) Act: Will the Supply of Personal Assistants meet the Demand and at what Price? doi
  21. (2007). Increasing user choice or privatizing risk? The antinomies or personalization.
  22. (2006). Independent living: the role of disability in the development of government policy. In C.Glendinning and P.Kemp (Eds) Cash and care: Policy challenges in the welfare state.
  23. (2005). Institute for Excellence doi
  24. (1994). Managing Social Policy.
  25. (2008). Our NHS, our future, NHS next stage review: final report. Department of Health,
  26. (2007). Our NHS, our future, NHS next stage review: interim report. Department of Health,
  27. (2006). Partnership in public services: an action plan for third sector involvement. Cabinet Office,
  28. (2008). Personal budgets: the impact on the third sector.
  29. (2009). Personal Health Budgets: first steps. Department of Health,
  30. (2004). Personalisation through participation: a new script for public services.
  31. (2009). Personalisation: rhetoric to reality.
  32. (2008). Personalised learning - a practical guide.
  33. (2009). Personalization and de-schooling: uncommon trajectories in contemporary education policy.
  34. Policy Review (2007) Building on progress: Public Services. Prime Minister's Strategy Unit,
  35. (2007). Public services at the crossroads: Executive summary. Institute for Public Policy Research,
  36. (2007). Putting people first: a shared vision and commitment to the transformation of adult social care services. Department of Health,
  37. (2008). Realising potential: a vision for personalised conditionality and support. The Stationery Office,
  38. (2009). Selling individual budgets, choice and control: local and global influences on UK social policy for people with learning difficulties.
  39. (1999). Social work with disabled people.
  40. (2007). The case for extending self-direction in the NHS. Social Market Foundation,
  41. (2009). The challenge of co-production: how equal partnerships between professionals and the public are crucial to improving public services.
  42. (2007). The future role of the third sector in social and economic regeneration: final report. Cabinet Office,
  43. (2005). The reform of public services: the role of the voluntary sector.
  44. (2008). What keeps your chief executive awake at night? Third Sector
  45. (1999). What price independence? Independent living and people with high support needs.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.