Charities ill equipped for personal budgets, says Acevo

Chief executives body launches commission to respond to Government plan

Chief executives body Acevo yesterday launched a commission to assess the sector's capacity to respond to the personalisation of public services.

The Government plans to give people individual budgets in areas such as social care and skills and let them choose which organisations provide their services.

This could pave the way for charities to bid for services directly from service users, rather than through commissioners.

The Commission on Personalisation of Public Services, which met for the first time on Thursday, will consider how charities can respond to this.

Ralph Michel, head of policy at Acevo, said the implications for charities were enormous and that many were likely to have to employ more marketing staff to sell their services to hard-to-reach individuals.

They might also have to install new IT systems to record individual budget transactions.

"It involves a huge skill set that charities don't currently need," he said.

The commission is chaired by Matthew Pike and includes Lynn Berry, chief executive of WRVS, and Virgina Beardshaw, chief executive of ICan.

The Department of Health, the Cabinet Office and think tank the Policy Exchange are also represented.

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