Personalisation budgets for children are failing to take off because primary care trusts are not helping with funding according to a progress report on the pilots, one year on.
The report, commissioned by the Department for Education, said PCTs have been restrictive in their funding streams with a “fairly small amount of money” being made available to children’s departments. This is despite the Department of Health co-sponsoring the pilots and each pilot being co-signed by the PCT and local authority.
Attempts to draw in travel and support budgets from education have also “proved difficult”, according to the report.
Hopes that children’s departments could learn from adult services have also proved unfounded, with these links often being “less than beneficial” due to issues surrounding joint working and the different legal responsibilities and funding streams associated with young people.
Information technology was also proving problematic with the integrated children’s system (ICS) proving too restrictive and those IT systems developed specifically for the programme had limited integration with other systems.
However, overall the pilots were largely on course. The authors of the report stated: “This list of issues is not intended to imply that the pilots have been problematic. Rather, it demonstrates the distance that still requires to be travelled and the issues to be resolved before we would be comfortable in recommending specific approaches.”
Six local authorities and primary care trusts were commissioned to test whether the individual budget concept and approach work in practice within children’s services. The pilots will run from April 2009 to March 2011.
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