Government wants learning difficulties initiatives to be person-centred

Learning disability partnership boards must make the development
of person-centred approaches to commissioning, providing and
organising services a top priority, according to new department of
health guidance, writes Lauren

‘Planning with People: Towards person centred approaches’ is
intended to help partnership boards produce their frameworks for
person-centred planning by April 2002, as required by the learning
difficulties white paper ‘Valuing People’ published last March.

The guidance describes person-centred planning as “a process for
continual listening and learning” to help understand a
person’s capacities and choices. It bills it as “a basis for
problem solving and negotiation to mobilise the resources
necessary”, and therefore pivotal to achieving organisational
cultural and practice change.

The guidance stresses that person-centred planning must never
become compulsory for people, and that completing large numbers of
plans must not become a measure of a service agency’s

Person-centred frameworks should include a statement of purpose
explaining how person-centred planning will contribute to the local
achievement of Valuing People objectives, details of a
sub-group of the partnership board to act as an implementation
group, and an action plan.

To deliver their action plans, partnership boards are advised to
empower people with learning difficulties and their families by
assisting and involving them, to provide high-quality training for
person-centred planning facilitators and an introductory overview
of person-centred approaches and planning to all service providers
and users who wish to access it, and to evaluate whether
person-centred planning is actually changing people’s lives
and services.

To help implement Valuing People, the department of health
announced at the end of December the appointment of eight regional
members of a new implementation support team to join learning
disability director of implementation Rob Greig in supporting and
advising local partnership boards and developing regional

A new learning disability taskforce to oversee implementation
was also set up at the end of December, which will be co-chaired by
Somerset social services director Chris Davies and service-user and
London People First member Michelle Chinery.




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