This project was initiated to help people to make progress in
one of the most challenging areas of adult social care to truly
personalise - homecare. Following discussions about
practically helpful approaches, a stakeholder group of
representatives of people receiving, commissioning and providing
support, has come together with In Control and Helen Sanderson
Associates to explore the specific opportunities presented by
Individual Service Funds.
Some of the key messages from the working group, which the paper
seeks to address, include:
* An ISF should be a real option for local people using homecare
* Local councils should develop a framework for this with
providers and local people.
* Providers should develop their ability to offer the ISF option,
including a description of their offer and retail price.
* Commissioners should encourage the development of local ISF
providers, through cooperation, information and support.
* It is important to recognise that the types of homecare support
that people using services say they need may not be confined to
personal care - they can include a much wider range of tasks.
* Systems need to be developed and training established to enable
staff to expand their skills and to work in creative,
* All should agree that homecare services must be focused on
identifying and achieving outcomes, not time and task.
* Councils and providers need to work together so that homecare
providers have the freedom to innovate and use budgets flexibly, as
agreed with the person using services.
* Capacity, recruitment and retention are increasingly important
issues which need to be thought through in the context of the ISF,
and what this means in terms of quality and cost.
Personalisation is a key element of government policy for public
services. The national Think Local Act Personal partnership is
bringing together sector leadership to promote and support
personalisation - most recently via its 'Making it Real' markers of
progress. However it is clear that many people receiving support
are not aware of the agenda and the possibilities it presents for
them to have choice and control in their lives.
Our intention has been to explore the practical realities of
homecare services, including how the market has evolved, and
consider how to move on from the concept of 'time and task'.
Homecare should not been seen as a commodity but an essential
part of many people's lives. In particular this paper is intended
as a practical contribution to the development of Individual
Service Funds in homecare. We hope that it can be used as the basis
for further work in localities with commissioners and with homecare
providers keen to rise to the personalisation challenge.
The paper is published alongside a companion tool, Progress for Providers:
Checking your progress in delivering personalised support for
people living at home, developed by the same group, which
focuses on how providers can self-assess, plan and act to further
personalise their support.
The development of both the paper and the toolkit was sponsored
and supported by Mears Care Limited and the United Kingdom Homecare
Association (UKHCA). Two local authorities were partners in the
project - Wirral Borough Council and Lancashire County Council.