About us

What is Think Local Act Personal?

We are a national partnership of more than 50 organisations committed to transforming health and care through personalisation and community-based support.

The partnership spans

  • central and local government,
  • the NHS,
  • the provider sector,
  • people with care and support needs, carers and family members with whom we engage via the National Co-production Advisory Group.

The work of the partnership is coordinated by a small core team with policy advisors responsible for pooling resources from different partnership members. This arrangement puts us in the unique position of bringing together people who use services and carers with national organisations.

The TLAP partnership is open to any national organisation not represented through one of the umbrella associations already involved, that is willing and able to make a specific commitment of support.

TLAP is hosted by partner organisation Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) in London.


What we do

Personalisation is fundamentally about better lives, not services. It means working with people, carers and families to deliver better outcomes for all. It is not simply about changing systems and processes or individualising funding through personal budgets and direct payments, but includes all the changes needed to ensure people have greater independence and enhanced wellbeing within stronger, more resilient communities. That includes all the work we do in the work streams set out below.

Drive improvement

We secure specific agreements from partners on implementing and improving the delivery of personalisation and community based support and we work to shape and influence national policy based on our collective insights on what works and challenges that need to be addressed.

Enable improvement

We produce practical tools and guidance.

Exchange knowledge

We create opportunities nationally and regionally for leaders of all types to share learning about what works and the challenges that need to be overcome and use partners' extended networks to disseminate this more widely.

Model co-production in action

We set an example for the social care and public sector on how to engage people with care and support needs, carers and family members in leading and shaping our work.


How does Think Local Act Personal work?

We deliver a work programme, agreed with our partners and funded annually by the Department of Health, with a number of specific commissions from other agencies. The work programme is delivered through work streams which may be reshaped as we progress on our commitments. Day-to-day work is delivered by a small team reporting to the Programme Board.

  • Self-directed support, personal budgets and Individual Service Funds
  • Market development and workforce development
  • Making it Real
  • Building Community Capacity
  • Co-production

The TLAP work programme is managed through a national Programme Board, co-chaired by the President of ADASS and Chair of the Care Provider Alliance, alongside representatives drawn from the wider partnership. The programme is agreed by the full partnership. 

TLAP Partnership Chairs and Programme Board

Programme Board Chair

  • Clenton Farquharson MBE, National Co-production Advisory Group

Programme Board Vice Chairs

  • Shared Lives Plus, Alex Fox
  • Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Dawn Wakeling

Programme Board Members


  • Dawn Wakeling (*Vice Chair of the Programme Board) 

Care Providers Alliance

  • Alex Fox OBE, Shared Lives Plus (*Vice-chair of Programme Board)
  • Kathy Roberts, Association of Mental Health Providers 

Care Quality Commission

  • Steve Holmes

Department of Health

  • Ed Moses
  • Wayne Sumner 

Local Government Association

  • Simon Williams 

National Co-production Advisory Group

  • Clenton Farquharson (*Chair of the Programme Board) 
  • Sally Percival

NHS England

  • James Sanderson

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

  • Gillian Leng

Nominated from the wider TLAP Partnership 

  • Martin Routledge, In Control
  • Duncan Tree, Volunteering Matters

Public Health England

  • Clare Perkins

Representing Carers

  • Dame Philippa Russell, Carers UK   

Skills for Care

  • Andy Tilden 

Social Care Institute of Excellence

  • Tony Hunter

Core Team

The work of the Partnership is coordinated by a small core team. Several team members work part time:

  • Caroline Speirs (Head of TLAP)
  • Linda Doherty (Business Manager)
  • Cat Duncan-Rees (National Co-production Advisor)
  • Sanchi Murison (Senior Communications Advisor)
  • Tim Parkin (Senior Policy Advisor)
  • Oliver Wahnon (Project Support Co-ordinator)
  • Martin Walker (Policy Advisor)
  • Sara Zmertych (Communications Manager)
  • Natasha Burberry (Policy Advisor)

National Co-production Advisory Group

We have a National Co-production Advisory Group (NCAG). A team of people who use services, carers, families, experts by experience, patients and citizens who are committed to ensuring that personalised services and support based in the community become a reality for all.

Support for our work on co-production is provided by members of NCAG.

Background to how the Partnership was formed

TLAP followed on from Putting People First, a Department of Health programme run between 2007-10 aimed mainly at Local Authorities. A prime motivator for establishing the TLAP Partnership in 2011 was a conviction that, in addition to Local Authorities, people who use services, carers and social care providers also have a critical role to play in changing social care for the better. From the start, TLAP has been keen to engage with as wide a range of people and organisations as possible in order to provide strategic sector-wide leadership for personalisation.

The original partner organisations voluntarily came together to develop and endorse Think Local Act Personal and additional organisations were approached to ensure good representation from across the sector. The criteria for becoming a partner are organisations or associations with national coverage, that fully endorse the principles of TLAP as set out in the partnership agreement and that are not covered by one of the existing umbrella group partners.

How can new organisations who provide practical innovative solutions, and support services to address the challenges of implementing self-directed support apply for membership?

Organisations that meet the criteria above can become partners by writing to the partnership chairs. Alternatively any organisation can get involved by signing up to MIR, accessing tools and materials from the website, signing up for monthly bulletins, attending relevant events and contacting us over Twitter @tlap1.


Terms of reference