In Control's chief executive, Julie Stansfield, provides an
update on In Control activity.
For In Control, summer is the time that we take stock to
reflect on what we have achieved in the sector, the challenges
ahead and forthcoming work.
This year in particular has been a truly busy year. Despite
the backdrop of increased pressure on budgets and vast change
across the sector, there is much for In Control to take pride in.
It is however also clear that there is still so much to be done to
ensure that people are able to live the lives they choose.
A major achievement for In Control has been the launch of
National Personal Budget Survey (NPBS), which with over 3,300
people contributing to the survey, is our largest to date. It was
also our most in-depth, including for the first time 312 people who
hold personal health budgets and their carers. We undertook this
work on behalf of Think Local Act
Personal with twenty-two councils in England taking
The NPBS utilises POET, the Personal Outcomes and Evaluation
Tool developed in partnership between In Control and Lancaster
University. POET allows us to create national benchmark on the
impact that personal budgets are having on people's lives.
Encouragingly, the NPBS clearly shows that when people are
able to direct their personal budgets, there is a resoundingly
positive impact on their lives. It also clearly shows how important
personal budgets are to not only people's sense of independence but
improvement in health, both mental and physical, and their ability
to feel safe and supported with dignity.
However, while there was a lot of 'good news' highlighted in
the survey, there were also areas of concern which unsurprisingly
included processes, bureaucracy and restrictions placed on people.
This is worrying as it is becoming increasingly clear that good
processes lead to good outcomes for people.
This and other challenges must be addressed if
personalisation is to truly make a difference to people's lives. We
are urging all councils to check outcomes and experiences with
local people regularly and systematically; to co-produce plans to
deliver improvements based on these results and importantly to
address the issue of unnecessary bureaucracy slowing or even
preventing access to personal budgets.
To help achieve these changes, we are currently working with
the councils using POET to explore what the results really mean and
to help them to develop plans for improvement in partnership with
their local communities. We are also about to start working
with a number of additional councils that will be using POET for
the first time and will be contributing to third National Personal
Budget Survey due to be published late 2014.
As well as planning toward the 2014 survey, we are currently
working on the next iteration of POET. This will see one tool for
reporting and measurement of outcomes across health and social care
Not only that, but as a result of funding from the Department for Education
(DfE), we are developing POET for children's services. This
will widen the use of POET to provide a 'user led' approach to
recording and measuring outcomes for disabled children, young
people and their families from their single education, health and
care plan and linked to their personal budget.
Over the past year the government's plans for special
education needs (SEN) and disabled children's services have
gathered pace and In Control is playing an increasing role in
developing understanding in this area, recently being contracted to
support a group of pathfinder sites and contribute to the new Code
These are exciting times, with some real innovation taking
place in children's services and we are looking forward to sharing
some of the work we are undertaking with Wigan Council as part of
these projects in a webinar
we are hosting on the 1st October.
The implementation of personal health budgets is also
gathering pace and we have just facilitated a webinar for NHS
England on its national support programme for clinical
commissioning groups (CCGs) which we're a strategic adviser to. The
webinar was well attended with representatives across CCGs and
councils taking part. A recording of the session can be viewed here.
We are also looking forward to doing in-depth work over the next
few months with Hull, Oxfordshire and Tees that will focus on
providing practical support to develop a draft pathway and
processes and procedures around clinical tasks. One element of this
work that is attracting significant interest is the newly developed
in Health leadership programme. We're currently half way
through delivering this for the first time in Tees and we are
already seeing the positive impact of partnership working.
We are also delighted to have been asked by the ADASS Eastern Region
to deliver a programme of work in support of Think Local Act
Personal. Over the past year we have successfully initiated and
facilitated programmes in support of the TLAP agenda in several
regions including North West, Yorkshire & Humber and London and
we are looking forward to seeing the same benefits these regions
have experienced in the Eastern Region.
These programmes build on the existing work done to ensure
that the TLAP vision and coalition is in place at a local level.
This is where In Control is able to provide positive support -
working with ADASS branches and others to build local action at a
regional level and importantly, develop and maintain key regional
activity. This approach has several advantages, primarily in these
cash strapped times of enabling limited resources to be combined to
enable a more significant programme of work. It also ensures there
is strong ownership as well as cross-sector working and partnership
at a regional level leading to stronger local delivery through more
In addition to all of this work with statutory agencies, we
are continuing to support families through free courses providing
tools and guidance as well as the opportunity to meet others who
share similar experiences. All Together Better and Sharing
Knowledge courses are starting soon in Staffordshire, Cornwall
& Devon and Derby. If you are interested in finding out more,
or submitting an application, please visit our courses page.
Over the coming months we will be continuing our efforts to
expand the principles of self-directed support and ensure that real
change is happening for people on the ground. We have some really
interesting projects coming up including work to improve
information and advice for people with dementia, include access to
personal budgets for people with mental health as well as continued
work with the criminal justice sector and around substance
If you would like to find out more about our work, or
contribute to some of the projects please do get in touch with us
I hope you all have a wonderful summer - with some good
Chief Executive, In Control