Supporting People shake-up plan

    Parts of the Supporting People programme could be transferred
    out of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, a government
    official has said.

    Programme manager Jane Everton said the ODPM had been speaking
    to other departments about the future of Supporting People and did
    not rule out a possible move.

    Speaking after a conference presentation on the future of the
    programme, Everton said the outcome of a forthcoming strategy
    consultation would decide where Supporting People was best
    situated.

    Everton told the Supporting People Advisory Network conference
    that the strategy would move the programme away from a focus on
    particular groups to an approach based on outcomes.

    An outline strategy, expected by October, will focus on the
    outcomes the programme can achieve for people based on their needs
    such as long-term care, crisis intervention and promoting
    independence. 

     “The strategy will look at what the funding does for the
    different needs and how that’s best delivered is something we will
    be looking at through the strategy,” she said.

    Everton told the event in Harrogate last week that the programme
    would also incorporate issues raised in the adult green paper, such
    as greater choice and control for individuals and a focus on
    prevention.

    She said the ODPM was working with the Department of Health and
    the Department for Work and Pensions to develop pilots to test
    individual Supporting People budgets and integrated assessments,
    initially for older people but with plans to include other groups
    later.

    Everton confirmed that local area agreements, where councils are
    given non-ringfenced funding but agree particular outcomes with the
    government, could play a large part in the future of Supporting
    People.

    She also hinted after the speech that the consultation on
    funding for the programme in 2007-8 would not involve the
    controversial distribution formula. She said longer-term funding
    options would be included in the strategy.

    Everton said the outline strategy would be a “fairly open paper”
    and, following consultation, a final strategy would be produced in
    spring next year. 

     

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