Norman Lamb recommends POET and funds free use for councils

We are delighted to announce that Care Services Minister Norman Lamb has recommended that all councils should be checking people's experiences of using personal budgets, through tools such as our Personal Budgets Outcomes Evaluation Tool (POET). Furthermore he has confirmed that funding has been made available to all adult social services in English councils to access POET for free.

The announcement coincides with the launch of Think Local Act Personal's (TLAP) Personalisation Action Plan. The plan outlines key activity by the sector ahead of the Care Bill.

In the plan the Minister has confirmed he will be encouraging all councils to check people's experiences of using personal budgets and to sign up to TLAP's Making it Real, the markers of progress for personalised care and support that were developed by people, carers and families to show what good care and support looks like.

Writing for TLAP's Personalisation: What's Next? blog, the Minister shares that he has agreed funding for any councils wishing to use POET to check results and plan improvements with local people:

"....The summit emphasised for me how important it is to focus on the outcomes from personal budgets, not just the numbers. Are people getting better lives and support and is the experience simpler and more flexible? This should be checked with people and families directly. One way of doing this is to use the Personal Budgets Outcomes Evaluation Tool (POET). I am really pleased to say that over the next year all councils who wish to use this tool will be able to do so and I would encourage all to do so."

He also renewed his commitment to supporting the sector with personalisation by confirming support for TLAP in its next phase from April 2014.

A new TLAP partnership agreement, work programme and report reviewing its first three years of activity will be published in May.

The action plan published today follows on from the Ministerial summit on Personalisation of Care and Support Summit hosted by Norman Lamb last September.

TLAP's director Sam Bennett, said: "Strong leadership is needed from all parts of the care sector to drive through the fundamental changes required to secure a sustainable system of personalised care and support for the future. The Action Plan published today and the new Partnership Agreement to be published in the Spring will secure and advance further progress with personalisation over the coming months and years to ensure we can "make it real" in these uniquely complex and challenging times."

Alex Fox, CEO Shared Lives Plus and representing the Care Providers Alliance, said: "Ensuring that services are moulded around individuals - their needs, strengths and informal support networks - looks increasingly like the only way to help older and disabled people to live good lives, as budgets come under increasing pressure. This Action Plan sets out a vision for doing this which should excite and challenge every council and care provider."

"Martin Routledge, head of operations for In Control, said: "We are delighted with today's announcement which not only signals a strong commitment to personal budgets but a strong commitment to make sure that they are working well and delivering real outcomes for people. POET enables councils to check what's working and what's not on a local level and to use this to improve delivery for people, in partnership with people."

To find out more about POET and how you can use it see

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Last Updated : 01 May 2014. Page Author: Laura Bimpson.