Jon Rouse, Director General of Social Care, Local Government and
Partnerships for the Department of Health writes this guest blog
post for us.
As Director General of Social Care at the Department of Health
you would expect me to think policy is important - and I do. We are
now well into the preparation period for implementation of the Care
Act. Last week saw the publication of the statutory regulations and
guidance. The guidance is very important in setting out how the Act
needs to be delivered in practice to make the policy intention of
personalisation and well-being a reality for people. And yet I know
that it is what people do on the ground in localities that matters
most. With personal budgets at the core of the Act, it is crucial
that local managers, professionals and people using social care
work in co-production to improve delivery.
That is why I am a fan of POET. By checking directly with people
using personal budgets and their family carers it provides vital
information about outcomes, processes and experience, while
allowing localities to compare themselves with other councils. In
the appendix to the current report Leeds describe how they used the
POET data with local professionals and people - identifying
improvements that could be made and developing and delivering a
plan to make them - including as part of their Making it Real
The National Personal Budget survey shows us both that personal
budgets can make a big difference in people's lives but also that
there is too much variation from place to place. Analysis of the
survey data shows that key things that improve outcomes - including
reducing bureaucracy, involving people properly in planning,
flexible use of the budgets - come at no or low cost. Councils
really need to use this learning at a local level.
I am pleased to see that 40 councils are using POET this year so
far with more coming on stream over coming months, with support
from DH and some regional ADASS branches. I remain concerned,
however, that more than half of councils are not engaged - if these
councils are not using POET to check results with local people and
make comparisons with others I do wonder how they are making sure
that they are self-aware and using this to keep improving. I would
therefore encourage all Directors of Adult Social Services to take
up the offer of support in the coming months. Here is a link for
interested councils to find out how.
Read our other POET blog posts here.