An agreement that remains true to disabled people
The partnership agreement needs to acknowledge the context in which public services are currently operating, namely severe cutbacks, and the impact that has on people who use services, or who no longer use services. The agreement needs to be seen to be real and true to the lives of disabled people, people with long term health conditions, older people, carers and families. Of course we, the TLAP partnership, cannot solve these issues on our own, but we can strive to get the best outcomes for as many people as we can.
I think there are four areas that TLAP should be concentrating on:
• Integration - integration of personal budgets across primarily health and social care but also exploring integration with areas such as employment, training and further and higher education
• Commissioning - looking at how services are commissioned including how people can commission their own services. This is key if personalisation is really to become a reality
• Information - looking at how people get information about personalisation. We have focused on getting information to professionals but what about directly to the public as well
• Support - looking at how people can be supported to make the most of personal budgets
Unfortunately - but perhaps inevitably - the management board has grown, and the partnership has contracted. I think TLAP need a smaller board, that meets less often, so that we can revert back to four meetings a year of the partnership. We should try to make sure that the partnership represents not just national organisations but includes representation from each region.