Councils working to reduce red tape

Last week Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) launched online materials showing how 22 councils are working to reduce the red tape around accessing personal budgets for people's care and support.

This follows on from the Ministerial Personlisation Summit, held on the 11th September - a joint event between TLAP and the Department of Health - where delegates looked at topics such as people's experience of personal budgets and the key challenges still faced in personalisation.

One clear challenge emerging across the board - both from the Summit, TLAP's self-directed forum (held in advance of the Summit on 3rd September), the recent annual Community Care survey of social care practitioners' views and In Control's own National Personal Budget Survey - is the issue of 'red tape' and how it is effectively stopping the increased take up of personal budgets in some councils.

With government policy saying that personal budgets are to become mainstream in social care, it is more important than ever that the hurdles to personalisation are overcome.

Both Community Care's survey and our national personal budget survey show that there are significant concerns with the level of bureaucracy still hindering people from accessing and therefore experiencing the benefits of personalisation.

TLAP's new materials, however, are examples of 'promising practice' and how some council are in fact working hard toward reducing the processes that have built up around delivering self-directed support. The materials also include examples of how council's have increased the take-up of direct payments.

TLAP worked with Sitra and Disability Rights UK to find out where councils are taking practical steps to improve people's experiences of accessing personal budgets and direct payments, including how councils are changing the way they provide information and advice, undertaking self-assessments, providing help with planning support, working in co-production with people who use services, families and carers and getting the right systems in place to make the best use of scarce resources.

The aim is that these materials will be used not only as positive examples of delivering improvements and a consistent approach to personalisation, but also provide tangible steps of what can be done to overcome red tap and push toward self-direct support being available to all.

To view the range of materials visit

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Last Updated : 25 September 2013. Page Author: Laura Bimpson.