View people as the assets
It is a great idea to make co-production real, by getting an open discussion on what the TLAP partnership should be concentrating on over the next couple of years. I have been a board member over the last eighteen months, so as to make the most of my role as Programme Director for implementing sector led improvement to extend personalisation and community based support. My memory stretches back to Putting People First, when as a Director of Adult Social Services , I co chaired the ADASS Personalisation Group from 2008, back in the days when there was £520m over three years to drive change.
If we knew then what we know now, I am sure we would have got further. Now we face the huge financial challenges, which mean that there isn't a choice between sticking with traditional services with a lot less, or going for broke with the wider TLAP vision of community wellbeing. Although they bring challenges in themselves in making them work for local people, Health and Welllbeing Boards really do offer the missing link, which we did not have when trying to deliver personalisation without full local health engagement, when implementing Putting People First. Very difficult local decisions on recommissioning the use of the £ 3.8bn Integration Transformation Fund also give the opportunity to put people at the centre of controlling their care and support. Finally, the care bill and the co produced way it will be implemented also give us the chance to shape how it will deliver the minister's strong commitment to personalisation.
So.......two thoughts from me to stimulate the debate on the partnership. The first is the importance of being self aware. This goes hand in hand with seeing people as assets rather than the deficit model, which is still too often the default. This lies at the heart of sector led improvement. It is all too easy to think that things are too complicated, or the reduction in money makes it too difficult, or even that someone else must know how to make all this work. Now is the time to get involved and be open to challenge, so as to get a balanced view - whether a council, provider or someone who uses services- on how well they are doing, and identifying areas for improvement. There are still far too many variations between council areas on things like personal budgets and the experience of different groups of people.
The second - going back to Putting People First - is using what we know. You only have to look at the TLAP site to see the huge range of practical tried and tested examples of what works. The TLAP regional offer this year, and the ADASS Personalisation network, both provide the opportunity to put these into practice. I don't think we have yet got to the point where the first port of call is to look at what has already been put into practice, even though how it might look locally will always be different.