Self-Directed Support: Getting past stuck! - 24 September


Think Local Act Personal are pleased once again to work with the London Self Directed Support Forum to enable people, providers, practitioners and commissioners to come together to reflect on the progress made with Self-Directed Support across the country.

This year we want to highlight how some places are moving on with Self-Directed Support and are bucking the trend where in many places austerity has been put forward as a reason for not prioritising personalisation.

How have they done this, what were the conditions, what are the lessons we can learn? How do we make it happen where we live and work?

This event will also form the London Self-Directed Support Forums annual conference, always a day of vibrant discussion, debate, reflection and learning seeded by inspiring speakers sharing their experiences.

Please note: TLAP events are subsidised by funding from the Department of Health and Social Care so we’re able to offer them free of charge to participants. Places are limited so it’s important to let us know if you are no longer able to attend. If 48 hours’ notice is not given we reserve the right to charge a £50 cancellation fee.

Presentation notes and slides


Dr Vanessa Davey

Dr Vanessa Davey is an experienced researcher working in the field of long-term care with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from The London School of Economics and Political Science on the role and function of direct payments to older people.

Alongside this she has looked at the role of direct payments support: from users’ perspectives, as well as investigating what DP services are available and their unit costs.  

Most recently Vanessa has focused on how councils have changed their approaches to commissioning direct payments support, and on measuring the work of direct payments support workers. Insights from this work has highlighted the challenges to sustaining direct payments support and possible solutions.

Dr Andrew Power

Dr Andrew Power is Associate Professor in Human Geography at University of Southampton. He is an experienced Academic with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. He is a strong research and education professional skilled in Disability, Non-profit Organizations, Social Geography, and Public Policy.

When individuals, with the help of their allies, co-construct their own local support networks, activities and identities, from local resources and services, in a meaningful way, they are self-building their care. How well is this going, what themes are emerging that are important learning and evidence from research to embed in policy.

Peter Gay

Peter Gay – Peter is an independent trainer and consultant, sharing practical experience about independent living and social care. He has been working recently with a direct payment peer support group who wanted to understand more about assessments, reviews and support planning.  With colleagues he’s also recently worked with a Local Authority to help their frontline staff improve their knowledge of direct payments. 

Peter will share local learning and insights from this work including understanding the Care Act’s principles and how we can all use them to challenge decisions, make social care work well and support people to have real choice and control in their lives. 

Svetlana Kotova

Svetlana Kotova is a disabled lawyer who has spent many years fighting for the rights of disabled people.  Svetlana is responsible for the work of our policy, campaigns and justice team at Inclusion London.

Over the last 12 years she has worked in various advice and policy roles, enabling disabled people to fight for their rights at local national and international level.  Svetlana is passionate about ensuring disabled people have equal rights and can use the law effectively to tackle discrimination and social injustice.

Inclusion London supports over 70 deaf and disabled organisations working across every London borough. Set up in 2008 they have since built a strong reputation for delivering effective, accessible services that upskill, strengthen and support London’s deaf and disabled people’s organisations, and for voicing and representing the views of deaf and disabled Londoners.

Stella Smith

Stella Smith is the Principal Social Worker in Adult Social Care in Camden. Stella has been a social worker for many years and has worked in a number of varied operational, management and service improvement roles. Stella is also a qualified project manager and has worked as a programme manager and social care advisor at NHS Digital. Stella is a named author on two Health Systems Journal publications on complex hospital discharge planning, undertaken with the UCL Centre for Advanced Systems

In Camden Stella is leading on the development of a new way of working in Adult Social Care. What Matters, the Camden Approach to Adult Social Care, is all about building relationships, putting people at the centre of all decisions and, using shared strengths and abilities, collaborating and supporting people to achieve their personal ambitions, have choice and be in control. What Matters is rooted in the Camden vision to create a place where ‘everyone has a voice and no-one gets left behind’

Stella is a parent carer for her son who has autism and both her and her son have had many years of lived experience of receiving social care ‘assessment’, support planning and direct payments. She is a long standing member of her local National Autistic Society network.

Kevin Caulfield

Kevin Caulfield is a disabled person, from a social model of disability perspective, and has worked in organisations led by disabled people since 1998, managing direct payment/ Independent Living support services. 
He has campaigned for a legal right to independent living, meaningful co-production and increased access to and take up of direct payments and self-directed support for all disabled people. 
He currently  works in Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s Public Services Reform Department, providing strategic leadership and work plan delivery on the implementation of the recommendations from their Disabled Peoples Commission.

He is  a founding member, supporter and contributor to the Disabled Peoples organisations (DPO) legal network.  A unique network of DPOs and lawyers working together to legally  promote but more often defend the rights of disabled people.

Ann Lloyd – (here as….) Strategy & Service Adviser for Hammersmith & Fulham

Ann has worked in adult social care and commissioning for the past few decades.

She’s committed to co-producing better approaches with citizens, partners and providers that enable people to live the lives they want. Lives in which people are valued, take a full role in society and have real choice and control over any support they need.

Ann has delivered extensive training and support on the Care Act – enabling local authorities and their partners to do the right things in the right way. Ann has a particular interest in developing personalised commissioning approaches that really empower people and their communities.