Thinking local: Support for regional personalisation initiatives
by Martin Routledge
Martin Routledge is the part time Programme Manager for Think Local Act Personal (TLAP). He has been seconded from In Control where he is the Head of Operations. In this week's blog, he writes of work happening regionally to implement the vision of Think Local Act Personal.
Think Local Act Personal is a partnership of national bodies and organisations but the clue to its purpose is in the title THINK LOCAL! We need to make sure that the TLAP vision and coalition is in place at a local level. A very positive development has been the set up of the ADASS (Association of Directors of Adult Social Care) policy network on personalisation/Think Local Act Personal chaired by Martin Farran (Barnsley Council) and Lorna Payne (London Borough of Havering). This will be made of up of regional personalisation leads amongst social care directors. The group has committed to support the TLAP vision, in particular via driving forward with Making it Real. In addition, the Towards Excellence in Adult Social Care programme, providing council-to-council peer support has prioritised TLAP and Making it Real.
The question now is how do we turn these positive developments into positive and productive action? As part of In Control's contribution to the TLAP partnership, we are increasingly working with partners at the regional level to support local action. A great feature of these existing and developing regional programmes is that they are increasingly bringing together the partners regionally that we see around the table at TLAP nationally. Money is really tight of course so these kinds of partnerships also have the advantage of bringing together a range of resources from a range of sources. The regional programmes can make good use of national TLAP developments but also helpfully inform and support these.
So far we have started regional work in the North West and London (with Groundswell Partnerships) and hope to soon get going in Yorkshire and Humber. Sponsorship for the programmes have come from JIPs and ADASS and from provider sponsors. To date: Alternative Futures Group, Sue Ryder, Dimensions, United Response, St Anne's and Real Life Options have shown their commitment to support these programmes. We have also found that once you have a platform to work from you can find others who want to join in an offer mutual support. Co-production is vital of course. In the North West, for example, there is strong involvement from the Disabled People's User Led Organisations programme ambassadors and Merseyside Disability Federation.
Another important feature is good connections that are being made to the regional Towards Excellence in Adult Social Care programmes through which councils are providing peer support. This is really important as it encourages good council engagement with Think Local Act Personal and in particular with Making it Real.
What are the programmes doing?
- There is some regional variation but elements include:
Supporting local engagement with Making it Real: learning sets for providers, disabled peoples' user-led organisations (DPULOs) and commissioners; MIR informing peer review and local accounts
- Driving improvements in personal budget delivery - use of the POET outcomes evaluation tool to improve personal budget strategies; practical initiatives on managed personal budgets, reducing process, workforce support; direct payment uptake strategies; making personal budgets work well for older people and less included groups
- Provider and market development - for example developing a protocol for good market relations, developing new practical tools e.g. to help personalise homecare and dementia care, effective dissemination of national TLAP tools and practice, support use of key developments - e.g. Individual Service Funds
- Facilitating regional personalisation leadership networks
- Building links and sharing learning across children's and adults personalisation initiatives
- Practical approaches to build community capacity as part of primary prevention
- Health linkages - in particular personal health budgets and continuing health care.
We look forward to sharing what is happening regionally through these blogs and on this website.
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