A new Making it Real is on the way and the process is changing. Contact info@tlap.org.uk to register interest for now.

Frequently asked questions

What is Making it Real?

Making it Real is a set of statements from people who use care and support telling us what they would expect, see and experience if personalisation is real and working well in an organisation.

These are "markers" that will help show how well an organisation is doing in transforming adult social care through personalisation and community-based support.

This is a new phase in using citizen-led information to judge success in implementing personalisation.


Where can I download a copy?

Visit the Think Local Act Personal website: http://www.thinklocalactpersonal.org.uk/Browse/mir/aboutMIR/


What are the "I" statements?

I statements are an assertion about the feelings, beliefs and values of the person speaking. In the case of Making it Real, the "I" statements are what older and disabled people, carers and citizens expect to feel and experience when it comes to personalised care and support. They are group around six key themes:

1) Information and Advice: having the information I need, when I need it

  • "I have the information and support I need in order to remain as independent as possible."
  • "I have access to easy-to-understand information about care and support which is consistent, accurate, accessible and up to date."
  • "I can speak to people who know something about care and support and can make things happen."
  • "I have help to make informed choices if I need and want it."
  • "I know where to get information about what is going on in my community."

2) Active and supportive communities: keeping friends, family and place

  • "I have access to a range of support that helps me to live the life I want
  • and remain a contributing member of my community."
  • "I have a network of people who support me – carers, family, friends, community and if needed paid support staff."
  • "I have opportunities to train, study, work or engage in activities that match my interests, skills, abilities."
  • "I feel welcomed and included in my local community."
  • "I feel valued for the contribution that I can make to my community."

3) Flexible integrated care and support: my support, my own way

  • "I am in control of planning my care and support."
  • "I have care and support that is directed by me and responsive to my needs."
  • "My support is coordinated, co-operative and works well together and
  • I know who to contact to get things changed."
  • "I have a clear line of communication, action and follow up."

4) Workforce: my support staff

  • "I have good information and advice on the range of options for choosing my support staff."
  • "I have considerate support delivered by competent people."
  • "I have access to a pool of people, advice on how to employ them and the opportunity to get advice from my peers."
  • "I am supported by people who help me to make links in my local community."

5) Risk enablement: feeling in control and safe

  • "I can plan ahead and keep control in a crisis."
  • "I feel safe, I can live the life I want and I am supported to manage any risks."
  • "I feel that my community is a safe place to live and local people look out for me and each other."
  • "I have systems in place so that I can get help at an early stage to avoid a crisis."

6) Personal budgets and self-funding: my money

  • "I can decide the kind of support I need and when, where and how to receive it"
  • .
  • "I know the amount of money available to me for care and support needs, and I can determine how this is used (whether its my own money, direct payment, or a council managed personal budget)."
  • " I can get access to the money quickly without having to go through over-complicated procedures."
  • "I am able to get skilled advice to plan my care and support, and also be given help to understand costs and make best use of the money involved where I want and need this."


How has Making it Real been produced?

The development of Making it Real has been led by National Co-production Advisory Group - a group of people who use services and carers. They have worked in partnership with representatives from Think Local, Act Personal.

The "I" statements were co-produced by people who use services, carers and citizens.

The "in practice" statements, were developed in discussion with members of the TLAP Partnership and members of the National Co-production Advisory Group.


How has Making it Real been tested?

The Making it Real process has been tested in two phases, and improvements are ongoing. The first phase involved discussing the draft process with six organisations (a combination of Local Authorities, User Led organisations, providers and voluntary sector representatives).

The second phase of testing has involved a number of Making it Real test sites who had early access the Making it Real web pages and who completed the process first, feeding back suggested improvements throughout the process.

The following organisations agreed to work with us to test Making it Real:

  1. Voluntary Organisations Disability Group
  2. Alzheimer's Society
  3. LGBT consortium
  4. Registered Nursing Homes Association
  5. Havering
  6. Trafford Council
  7. Dudley
  8. North Tyneside
  9. Birmingham
  10. Look Ahead, housing and care provider
  11. Barchester
  12. Age UK (Newcastle)
  13. Norfolk Coalition for Disabled people
  14. Action on Hearing Loss (the new name for RNID)
  15. Carers Trust
  16. Hampshire County Council
  17. Manchester City Council
  18. Stockport Council


How will Making it Real be used?

The organisations that have signed up to Making it Real will use the "I" statements to check their progress and guide further action in transforming their services to provide people with more choice and control.

We want Making it Real to be available to everyone committed to achieving progress with personalisation.

Councils and provider organisations can look at their current practice, identify areas for change and develop plans for change.


Who can use it?

Any organisation providing care and support including councils, providers of home based support and those providing residential and nursing care.

It can also be used by people who use services and carers to check how well their aspirations are being met.


Is this going to work for Older People?

The needs of older people are core to Making It Real. A number of our test sites, including the Alzheimer’s Society and the Residential Nursing Homes Association, are working with us to test out what the practical issues for people who work with older people will be. We are also working closely with other national organisations that specialise in older people's issues including Dementia Action Alliance, My Home Life, SCIE's Dementia Gateway and ADASS Older People's network.


Each organisation is different – how can Making it Real work for all of them?

The Making it Real priorities should be locally led, and locally developed. This allows each organisation, whatever their starting point, to decide what their next steps should be. These first steps will be different for every organisation.

In addition to this, over the next 12 months, we will gather some of the learning and good practice from each part of the sector to create a picture of what Making it Real statements would look like in practice when they are achieved.


When will Making it Real be available?

You can start using Making it Real immediately to build the markers into your work plans. The Making it Real website is now live and so everyone involved in care and support can go to our website to declare their commitment to use Making it Real as a way of showing they are committed to personalisation. http://www.thinklocalactpersonal.org.uk/Browse/mir/

A powerpoint presentation which takes you through the key steps of the online process is also available as part of the support materials on the website.


What help is there to help implement Making it Real?

The following tools are available on the Making it Real website:

Will be uploaded soon

  • Other examples of adapted Questionnaires (from test sites) to help you check progress against the 26 markers
  • Easy Read version (PDF document) of specific pages for users/carers to explain how they can get involved.

In the process of being developed

  • What making it real means in practice for older people with dementia (in residential care)
  • What making it real means in practice for carers
  • Top ten tips for co-production
  • Case studies and examples of how to do this from test sites.


What is the Making it Real kitemark?

Organisation that upload their top three priorities for change and the accompanying action plans to the Making it Real website will be able to download a Making it Real kitemark to signify their support.


How will we report on our progress with Making it Real?

Organisations will self-report six monthly on their top three priorities. The website process asks organisations to confirm that people who use services, carers and citizens have been fully involved in the six monthly review process.

There is an expectation that organisations will also set up a local system to enable people who use services and carers to provide direct feedback on local progress against your Making it Real action plan.


Do we have to meet every marker in Making it Real?

No, not all markers will be relevant to all, so your organisation will be able to sign up to the ones most meaningful for the people who use your support and your organisation as a whole


Do we have to meet every marker in Making it Real?

No, not all markers will be relevant to all, so your organisation will be able to sign up to the ones most meaningful for the people who use your support and your organisation as a whole.


Is this just another performance management tool?

No, this isn't. It is a voluntary movement for change.

This is the sector taking ownership and responsibility for personalisation.

Councils and other organisations are already signing up to Making it Real as a way of helping them to check and build on progress with personalisation.

This will also be a way for them to let other organisations know how they are doing - especially their local community and the people they serve.

The key premise of Making it Real is that organisations and councils should be accountable to their users and populations. Local people need to make sure they get involved, see what is being said and done, provide support and challenge. The journey is as important as the destination. Making it Real creates a platform for engagement and co-production. TLAP's role is to facilitate this process and share learning and activity, not to "police" it.


How does this link performance frameworks and standards like those of the CQC?

The Care Quality Commission are mapping these markers to see how they fit with essential standards of safety and quality.

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) have endorsed Making it Real as part of their membership of Think Local, Act Personal Partnership. They will be encouraging their members to make good use of Making it Real in their work.

The Towards Excellence In Council's Adult Social Care programme has identified as their first priority: Personalisation and Progress in delivering the Think Local, Act Personal "Making it Real" markers.

As part of the Zero Based Review of performance data being undertaken to reduce burdens on councils, a working group that is specifically focusing on personalisation is being informed by Making it Real.

The Department of Health have also said that Making it Real will complement and inform the development of their outcomes framework - ensuring that citizen experience and local leadership is central.


Given that it is a voluntary system based on self-reporting, how confident can we be that organisations are measuring progress honestly and accurately and fully involving users and carers in deciding how well they are doing?

A key aspect of Making it Real is that organisations and councils need to be held accountable by people who use services, carers and local populations. There are a number of automatic checks and balances on the web based system.

The Making it Real website requires organisations to state in writing that they have engaged local people who use services, carers and citizens in the priority setting process. There is also a question as part of the review process asking organisations to confirm that local people agree with the review.

Organisations wishing to become a Making it Real site are expected to set up a system so that their service users can feedback directly to them on their progress in Making it Real.


What level of quality checking will the TLAP team be doing on the information that organisations submit?

TLAP does not have a remit to formally performance manage organisations. In addition to the user-led checking, the approach is to facilitate a process and improve practice. Making it Real works by developing high aspirations and modelling what works well. Case studies will also highlight organisations that have overcome obstacles to meet their top three priorities. Of course, any materials brought to our attention which are inappropriate will be removed from the MIR website.


What encouragement/incentives will there be for organisations to sign-up to Making It Real?

Organisations have an opportunity to download the Making it Real kite mark which will show that they are working towards the commitments highlighted within Making it Real.

There are opportunities for organisations to use the search facilities to find organisations in their geographical areas or organisations who share similar priorities and to share ideas or learn from existing practice.

Making it Real events are being established to help organisations gain further information about making it real.


What is the Narrative for Person-Centred Coordinated Care definition of integrated care?

For the first time ever, we now have a definition of integrated care that the whole of the health and care system is expected to adopt. This Narrative of what good, person-centred coordinated care and support looks and feels like for the individual is at the very heart of our collaborative and Our Shared Commitment. To be able to deliver integrated care and support we must have a shared understanding of what integration means – at the last count there were 175 different definitions being used across the county, and the lack of a single, agreed definition has hampered efforts to integrate care and support.

NHS England commissioned National Voices, a national coalition of health and care charities, to co-develop with the system a person-centred narrative on integration that the whole system could then adopt. The Narrative is published today under the umbrella of Our Shared Commitment. The national partners have adopted this definition of what good integrated care and support looks and feels like and expect all localities, including pioneers, to adopt it too.


How do the Narrative for Person-Centred Coordinated Care and Making it Real relate to one another?

Both the Narrative and Think Local Act Personal’s Making it Real Initiative set out a series of “I” statements designed to ensure that patients and people who use services are at the centre of commissioners’ and providers’ thinking when they design and deliver local services. While the Narrative is designed to enable integrated care and support, Making it Real is designed to enable personalised and community-based support. They complement and reinforce each other, with many of their respective “I” statements being aligned where appropriate. 12 out of the 26 Making it Real statements are incorporated in the Narrative and about half of the statements correspond with ones in the Narrative.


Why have you kept two separate sets of statements and how will these work in practice?

The development of “I” statements has been used by several national organisations over recent years to represent what people want from services and support. Given the absence until now of a single, agreed definition of integrated care and support and the potential power of “I” statements to put the individual first, the national partners decided that a set of “I” statements for integrated care and support would be an effective way of addressing this problem. The importance of local authority, community-based services in the integration of health and social care meant that the Narrative and Making it Real needed to complement one another, whilst recognising that the two sets are not focused on exactly the same issues and are therefore not identical.

TLAP are part of the national collaborative, which is now seeking to co-develop with the system a programme to support the implementation of the Narrative alongside Making it Real. This is expected to include testing their adoption at localities around the country, including by the pioneers. Local testing might indicate the need to refine the Narrative, or to merge both sets of “I” statements into one. But the key is to test the statements in practice and then respond to what the system tell us it needs.


I am already a Making it Real site, what do I do now?

You can continue with your existing programme. As Making it Real action plans are reviewed every 6 months, there is nothing to stop you engaging with both Making it Real and Narrative I statements and building in new actions as part of the 6 month review.


How can I find out more?

Visit our website http://www.thinklocalactpersonal.org.uk/Browse/mir/


The person who manages our online Making it Real web account has left the organisation/no longer manages the account. What do I do?

  • Decide who will manage the Making it Real online account.
  • If this person is already registered with the TLAP website, they should contact us at thinklocalactpersonal@scie.org.uk with their email address and that of the previous person who managed the account. If the new Making it Real account holder isn’t registered with the TLAP website, they will need to register and notify us with the above information.
  • We will send an email to confirm that the MiR site is ready for use.