Government-backed personalisation group to expand ‘beyond care and support’

Think Local Act Personal gains 14 new members and launches a new partnership agreement

Personalisation group Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) will extend its focus into new areas including health and housing after announcing 14 new members today.

The group, which is a partnership of 48 organisations across health and social care to promote personalisation and is funded by the Department of Health, also launched a new agreement which sets out actions to advance personalisation in services.

The new TLAP members include The College of Social Work, the Centre for Workforce Intelligence, the Housing & Support Alliance, the Mental Health Providers Forum, NHS England, National Institute for Health & Care Excellence, the Office for Disability Issues, Public Health England and the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme.

Sam Bennett, TLAP’s programme director, said the addition of new partners would support a broader programme of work by the group. For example it will be looking at personal health budgets and personal support planning for people with long term conditions as well as coordination of care. He said: “It is about taking TLAP into seeing personalisation in the wider public service reform agenda rather than just care and support.”

The TLAP partners have signed a new agreement, published today, which sets out actions that the organisations believe will allow early identfication of need, enable choice and control, tailor support and coordinate care.

The partners also made individual pledges partners to advance personalisation. These include:
• The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) is “strongly encouraging” all councils to sign up to the Making it Real markers of progress, which are published by TLAP and written by service users and families and set out what they expect to experience from truly personalised support services. It said councils should produce their plans for change jointly with people who use their services and publish them online.
• The Local Government Association pledged to promote personalisation to councillors; to show how Making it Real could help councils report to local people on their performance as part of the LGA’s Towards Excellence in Adult Social Care programme; and to show what good, personalised care looks like for people with the most complex needs living in the community via the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme, which the LGA leads with NHS England.
• The Association of Directors of Children’s Services said it would support the development and dissemination of Making Real for Children with Complex Lives, which includes case studies of what good personalised support looks like for children and young people.

Dr Bennett said he recognised that many social workers backed the principles of personalisation, choice and control but struggled to implement them because of bureaucracy or stretched budgets.

“We absolutely recognise that remains a massive problem in lots of areas and has a real and profound impact on people’s lives. The agreement builds on work earlier in the year to develop a personalisation action plan to improve the consistency and experiences of personal budget delivery which remains very varied from one region to the next depending on the needs you have,” he said.

Bennett said TLAP’s programme for the year was set to be signed off at a meeting today.

Care services Minister Norman Lamb said: “I particularly welcome the focus on taking a personalised approach to delivering coordinated care. Integration and personalisation are for me two sides of the same coin and the current context presents a huge opportunity to bring these important objectives together.”

“People should be able to expect the same focus on their independence, the same regard for their wishes and the same opportunities to make choices and to take control, whether they have a long term health condition or a social care need, a mental health problem or a learning disability. Fundamentally, good care and support should promote people’s wellbeing and help build stronger community links, not just for the few but for everybody. The new TLAP agreement is an opportunity to refocus on making this the norm, in all settings and for all people, all of the time,” the minister said.

The College of Social Work has pledged to disseminate information and resources from TLAP to its members and support them to develop the skills and knowledge to support personalisation. The college’s chair Jo Cleary said: “The College will support its members through this transformation of the way care services are delivered. The new Care Act is a real opportunity for social workers to reassert their core skills, knowledge and values so that people have independence, choice and control over the care and support they need.”

More from Community Care

One Response to Government-backed personalisation group to expand ‘beyond care and support’

  1. Eun June 6, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Personalisation is simply an excuse for passing the buck and for doing things “on the cheap”. I say this as a 24/7 carer for a severely physically disabled and ventilator dependent son.