Vulnerable people will still be entitled to have their care package managed for them by councils under personal budgets, the man charged with helping councils implement personalisation stressed today.
Addressing the National Children and Adult Services Conference in Harrogate, Jeff Jerome, the national director for social care transformation, sought to reassure delegates that the vulnerable would not be left to manage their own care.
Jerome, who works through the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said: “Everyone will continue to be entitled to a care assessment and to have a managed service by the council when they need it or it is deemed to be appropriate because of issues of vulnerability.”
Under personal budgets, service users can choose to manage the budget, leave it with the council to manage or enlist a third party. However, there has been concern that vulnerable people would be left to their own devices.
A Community Care survey last year found 96% of local authority social workers thought personalisation would make service users more vulnerable, while almost three-quarters believed extending personalisation to all service users, “regardless of need”, was inappropriate.
Jerome also addressed concerns about the lack of clarity over the future direction of resource allocation systems (RAS), which govern how the monetary value of a personal budget is determined following an assessment.
He said it would be difficult for a common RAS to be implemented across the country “because of the way different services are set up and run by different authorities”.
Jerome also called on adult care directors to improve knowledge of their own communities to enable them to predict the cost of providing information and advice to those funding their own care, a service councils will be expected to provide under personalisation.
“Even in the most deprived areas of the country it is a minority who are receiving their services from councils,” he said. He also encouraged councils to gain a better picture of the numbers of numbers of older people coming into and out of their area in order to predict the cost of providing for them.