Shaping & influencing the social care market

The National Market Development Forum is a part of the Think Local Act Personal Partnership. The forum is made up of the same diverse members of the TLAP partnership but their special interest is helping to shape and influence the factors that affect the social care market. This needs to remain a priority for the next partnership agreement. In particular, how the complex process of the commissioning of social care services helps or hinders personalisation.

Over the past year we have addressed important issues and provided guidance on how to survey local need and create a market position statement, how when local people, providers and commissioners work together to the common good better outcomes result and have published an influential set of reports on defining quality and who is responsible.

TLAP has now been asked by the Winterbourne View Implementation Team to support their plans to reduce the current over reliance on specialist assessment and treatment hospitals for people with a learning disability who are in crisis. TLAP will be looking in detail at how a more local and personalised approach can prevent referrals to these units. Much evidence already exists and we published the report Be Bold about this shortly after the Winterbourne View scandal.

The new work builds on this and we plan to explore in "real time" a few best practice examples of personalised support in order to build a more robust model for planning, shaping and commissioning personalised care and support for people with very complex needs and behaviour that challenges. It will also provide associated opportunities for shared learning and joint problem solving for interested councils and providers across the country. This is an important task and personalised approaches can be the key that successfully unlock even the most complex care and support challenges.

During the project, TLAP will be following real people's stories: someone who is currently living in and assessment and treatment unit and wishes to leave, someone currently struggling with the support they have either in a supported living or registered care setting and are at risk of being placed in an assessment and treatment unit and someone who is currently living with their family and who want to plan for moving out or who have no current local alternative to an out-of-borough residential school.

The project will sensitively and confidentially track the progress in each situation and the providers and commissioners have bravely agreed to share what is working and what are the barriers to progress in opening learning events. It will be the detail that is important- we all love to hear success stories but often the "how did they manage that" information is left out or forgotten. The people involved are often too busy to take the time and record learning and this is where we are going to help.

I hope that this work will feature strongly in any new partnership agreement.

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