Turning barriers into thresholds which can open doors
There is much to celebrate in our 'Think Local - Act Personal' effort to embed personalisation into everything we do. Many and diverse stakeholders have come together to hold conversations which have led all of us to think outside our personal and organisational boxes. Together we have worked hard to put cultural and structural differences aside in the spirit of working together to find solutions.
As a result, the barriers to personalisation and self-directed support are becoming lower all the time. There is, however, still work to be done to ensure that barriers turn into thresholds - and that thresholds in turn lead to open doors.
But if we are honest with ourselves, are we going far enough, fast enough? The fantastic feedback we get from people who use services refers to a system still too cumbersome to understand - and one where paperwork and bureaucracy prevent access to freedom and flexibility.
Many of us know and understand the reasons for rules and regulations when spending public money comes into play, but we need to be constantly vigilant in challenging ourselves and learning how to simplify and extend access to personal budgets from the 'best in class'.
The biggest challenge we have in the future is sharing our learning on the journey so far with our colleagues in the NHS. If we in social care recognise that we have come a long way, but also acknowledge that we have further to go, how much more is there to do for those not yet started? We need to use the opportunities presented in TLAP by broadening our base of engagement with NHS partners, aligning whole system redesign with community champions and health and social care providers alike, in order to get a truly person centred, joined up service wrapped round people.