Simon is the founder and Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform. He speaks regularly on television and radio about the welfare state and social policy. He is best known for inventing personal budgets and for designing systems of self-directed support. He works as a consultant and researcher with local social innovators and national governments.
Simon began work in the NHS and then went to work with Choice Support, where he led innovative work in social care on individualised funding and brokerage. After being a Harkness Fellow in 1994, Simon went on to found Inclusion Glasgow in 1996 and, following this, he helped establish several new organisations in Scotland, including Partners for Inclusion and Altrum. He also provided training in person-centred planning and supported living as a Director of Paradigm Consultancy.
From 1999 he began to develop self-directed support, as a system to reform the organisation of social care. He began work with North Lanarkshire Council and in 2003 he led the development of individual budgets and self-directed support in England as CEO of In Control. This work led to significant changes in social policy in England and Scotland, and in 2008 he was awarded RSA’s Prince Albert Medal, and in 2011 the SPA Award for outstanding contribution to social policy.
Simon has a doctorate in moral philosophy and has written extensively on moral, political and social issues. Some of his key publications include Unlocking the Imagination (1996), Keys to Citizenship (2003) Women at the Centre (2011) A Fair Income (2011) and Peer Power (2012) and The Unmaking of Man (2013). Simon is also an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham’s Health Service Management Centre.