Ministers to be lobbied on personalisation development

Adult social care leaders in England are to lobby ministers on the next phase of the personalisation agenda.

Adult social care leaders in England are to lobby ministers on the next phase of the personalisation agenda.

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and the Local Government Association are keen to retain impetus when the three-year transformation programme ends next year and are developing ideas for what should follow.

There is concern among sector leaders over how personalisation will develop when the social care reform grant – worth £520m between 2008 and 2011 to help councils implement personalised care – ends next year, with some favouring longer-term funding.

However, the government expected to set tight spending limits for public services in this autumn’s spending review covering 2011-14, casting doubt over future funding for the programme.

Jeff Jerome, the national director for social care transformation, who works through Adass and the LGA, said he would shortly complete a document showing how personalisation could continue without the same funding. This will be submitted to the Department of Health after talks in Adass and the LGA.

The document is focusing on the continued roll-out of personal budgets and the development of a care market to support service users in exercising choice, and clarifies the role of the public sector, individuals and families.

It is also drawing on the Big Society ideas promoted by the Conservatives to involve people with their communities.

Jerome said there would be a need to provide greater evidence that the personalisation agenda can deliver outcomes more efficiently.

The government has said it is committed towards the agenda and wants to extend the roll-out of personal budgets.

Care services minister Paul Burstow said: “I want to put a greater focus than ever on personalisation.

“The financial outlook is extremely challenging, but this should not stand in the way of giving people more control, more choice and more dignity in care.

“I’m clear there can be no slipping back to the days of one-dimensional, like-it-or-lump-it services. Personalisation must remain a guiding principle for long-term care.”

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