Simon Duffy

Simon Duffy (born 13 February 1965) was formerly the chief executive of the social enterprise company In Control. He is a pioneer of Deinstitutionalisation in the United Kingdom and was awarded the Albert Medal in 2008 for his work on "social innovation". His training is as a philosopher. He worked in social care in the voluntary sector in south London and is now based at the The Centre for Welfare Reform in Sheffield.[1]

In Control worked chiefly with people with learning difficulties, but he has since developed his ideas in respect of Personal health budgets[2] a concept which he claims to have invented.[3] He countered accusations that public health budgets were wasting NHS money on fripperies like horse riding, art classes, massage, and a summer house by saying that the whole point was to spend money in less conventional ways. He argues that personalisation is "consistent with a social work based on social justice", though his approach has been criticised as "consistent with a neoliberal social and economic agenda".[4]

He has worked with Local Authorities in Glasgow where he set up an organisation called Inclusion Glasgow in 1996 to help residents of Lennox Castle hospital to "escape" into their own homes using what were then called Individual Service Funds.[5]

He is very critical of the approach taken by the Department for Work and Pensions to supporting disabled people, and says the department should be closed down.[6] He is an opponent of austerity, saying that disabled people on low incomes face cuts four times larger than average[7] and that disabled people have been "hit 19 times harder than the average person" under the coalition government.[8]

The Centre for Welfare Reform's publication People, Places, Possibilities, written by Ralph Broad in 2015 has been widely discussed as a contribution to the debate about the future of social work in the UK[9] and Duffy has been a significant contributor.[10]



  1. "Liberation theory". Guardian. 30 January 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  2. "NHS personal health budgets spent on holidays and horse riding". BBC News. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  3. Duffy, Simon (2 September 2015). "Will Personal Health Budgets Destroy the NHS?". Socialist Health Association. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  4. Ferguson, Iain (October 2011). "Personalisation, social justice and social work: a reply to Simon Duffy". Journal of Social Work Practice: Psychotherapeutic Approaches in Health, Welfare and the Community. 26 (1): 55–73. doi:10.1080/02650533.2011.623771.
  5. "Individual Service Funds". Centre for Welfare Reform. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  6. "Let's Close Down the DWP". Huffington Post. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  7. "Benefits reforms: a 'deeply immoral' smokescreen?". Channel 4. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  8. "Here's why I'll be marching against austerity – and why you should ignore the right-wing critics". Independent. 20 June 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  9. "Social work is losing its identity – how can it be saved?". Guardian. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  10. "'Core social work' approach offers better outcomes at reduced cost, says report". Community Care. 10 August 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
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