Four in ten councils have missed a key target for the roll-out of personalisation, a survey has revealed.
By April all councils should have had a strategy for delivering information and advice about care and support choices in place. But only 60% had achieved this by June. In addition one in six councils were not at the planning stage for developing a strategy, the survey by advice provider Opportunity Links found.
By contrast, 12% had already started delivering universal information services ahead of a target to do so by October this year.
Stephen Burke, chief executive of charity and care advice provider Counsel and Care, said there was no excuse for the delays two-and-a-half years into the three-year social care transformation programme. “A lot of local authorities seem to be getting deflected by the need to make cuts and a lot of the building blocks to save money, through personalisation, have not been put in place,” he said.
The Department of Health has set a number of milestones to chart councils’ progress against the personalisation agenda.
As part of developing an information strategy councils should have analysed need, identified funding, engaged key partners and agreed a delivery model for the information service.
Local authority middle managers, who responded to the survey, blamed a lack of resources for the delays in implementation, with 40% citing this as the biggest barrier to implementation. More than 60% called for better practical guidance on implementing an information and advice strategy.
The ADASS and LGA survey conducted between January and March this year found 69% of councils were “very likely” to have an information strategy in place by April and 19% said they were “fairly likely” to do so.