We need consensus across sectors
I start from the premise and the principle that personalised care is the right way for services to meet the care needs of people and their carers. The work of Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) has delivered a creative and collaborative approach to make this a reality for those accessing the care system through council structures.
There will be an election on 7 May 2015 and so the time is right now to quicken the pace to acting locally as well as thinking personally. The "I" statements have real currency because they are a product of the system including the people who use services and carers. However, we need to have a better and deeper understanding of the progress that has been made against the 6 key themes and their criteria. That means we must have a baseline to measure the change against. Being able to do this is critical to being able to say with confidence that care and support is systematically being personalised and making a positive difference. The bigger challenge is how we capture the voice for those people who are self-payers to help us understand the impact of making it real for them.
The inevitable and interminable discussions about integration and the possibilities that the current economic climate create should drive the next phases for personalisation. One of the first order principles to be achieved is to come to a consensus in the care sector about what we mean by integration and which services it involves when we act locally and act personally. TLAP is well placed to support the thinking, development and design of a care, community empowerment and housing system that integrates around the needs of people and their carers.
So where to next in the programme of work to deliver services that is about the people using them and not the people staffing them? TLAP needs to consolidate the ever increasing closer relationship with health, housing and community programmes alongside adult care. We need one set of "I" statements between making it real and national voices. Those who are running and leading care services, housing and community initiatives must be locked in and persuaded to let go of more of the controls to those who are using the services. We must have robust governance around this and good collection of data and information to make sure that what is delivered makes a personal difference.