Planning for action - personalisation of care summit

Martin Routledge, our head of operations blogs ahead of the Department of Health's personalisation of care summit today:

Today is the personalisation summit chaired by Care and Support minister Norman Lamb. I'm going to be co-facilitating this gathering of people and groups, all of who are concerned with how we can improve personalisation in a situation of massive financial pressures. The action planning group following the summit will bring together DH, ADASS, TLAP and TEASC to consider the actions and roles each person and organisation can play and how we can work in partnership to achieve these.

In Control strongly supports the aspirations in the Care Bill to extend choice and control to all people using social care. However, as things stand, there is a significant risk that many people will get personal budgets in name only. We want to support DH, TLAP, ADASS and others in ensuring the real success of the policy - there is quite a job ahead. To share an idea of the task ahead - I asked my Facebook friends with experience of personal budgets what they thought was needed to make things work well. Here are some of the things they said:

"stop local authorities form dictating 2 pple how they can spend their personal budget. This is one of the biggest barriers people face"

"how to better support people who wish to choose their PA without the requirement for them to become an employer"

"fed up of hearing 'not allowed', if it fits within support plan, meets identified outcomes and is within budget what is their problem"

"LA's need to trust people with their own budgets"

"doubt that 'Councils' will ever actually let go of control - too many people at 2 many levels in 2 many roles that can each block"

"Ensure tht support planning + brokerage is undertaken by user-leds, Ensure personalisation covered on all OT, GP + social wk courses"

"Enable local authorities to be creative and take risks by reducing the burden of bean counting."

"Direct payments, having a personal budget is not enough. More DP more choice and control".

"?......lack of trust & unable to let go of the reins of control".

In Control's POET survey was used to develop the National Personal Budgets Survey and will strongly inform the personalisation summit.  POET is increasingly allowing us to see both the variable delivery of personal budgets and what leads to the best results. Participants at the summit will hear:

  1. There are variations across places and groups that are strong and unacceptable - some are getting a much better deal than others
  2. That although we increasingly know what leads to better results, best practice is not common practice

For example looking at some numbers:

Across councils:

  • Across England, on average 14.2 people per 1,000 are getting self-directed support (SDS) as defined by the NHS Information Centre Indicator

- 24 councils have more than 20 people per 1,000 getting SDS (max 34.6

per 1,000)

- 27 councils have less than 10 people per 1,000 getting SDS (min 4.6 per 1,000)

  • In Council A you are 7.5 times more likely to get SDS than in Council B
  • Across England, on average 2.3 people per 1,000 are getting a Direct Payment (DP)

- 33 councils provide DPs to more than 3 people per 1,000 (max 8.35 per 1,000)

- 33 councils provide DPs to less than 1.5 people per 1,000 (min 0, then 0.35

per 1,000)

  • In Council X you are 24 times more likely to get a DP than in Council Y

Across groups - proportion of SDS users:

  • Physical disabilities 13.7%; Mental health 4.2%;
  • Learning disabilities 12.7%;
  • Age 65-74 years 12.1%; 75-84 years 24.8%; 85+ years 31.8%

But this is about so much more than numbers. The POET survey shows clearly that better process and practice leads to better outcomes. We need to make the better practice commonplace. For more detail you can download the slides we are presenting at the summit below.

Practical action

The recent TLAP self-directed support forum heard that some councils feel that they have made progress with some elements of personal budgets delivery but few feel they have all the "jigsaw pieces" in place.  As a member of TLAP, In Control is considering how it can make a useful contribution to improving this .  As a national partnership, an important part of TLAP's approach is to work through its partners at regional and local levels. One element of the approach is to bring best practice in a range of areas most effectively to bear regionally and locally.

In Control is currently operating four regional personalisation support programmes in partnership with ADASS and regional provider organisations.  A core approach in these programmes is to identify key areas of challenge for personalisation delivery and to identify and bring best practice to bear in those areas. One element of this approach is to support volunteer localities to develop as exemplars and then share these "depth" learning via a "breadth" approach to peers.

You can follow and contribute to the Twitter conversation on the summit using #personalisation13.

If you would like to find out more about the summit,  POET, or In Control's regional programes, please email


Leave Comment

Last Updated : 11 September 2013. Page Author: Laura Bimpson.