Using people’s Care Act feedback to improve personalised support - a call to action

Think Local Act Personal and In Control are calling on all councils to embed people’s Care Act feedback into their review systems to help steer local improvement.

This announcement follows publication of the latest National Personal Budgets Survey, which this year captures people’s experiences since the Care Act was introduced; the survey uses the Personal Outcomes Evaluation tool (POET) to measure the experiences of people in receipt of personal budgets and personalised care and support.

POET was cited by National Audit Office in their recent report as offering the most detailed information about respondents’ experiences of personalised commissioning process; the subsequent Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee Hearing recommended improving its uptake.

The good news is that this is not difficult or expensive to do and findings can be used to implement at no or very low cost improvements to process and practice.

Results of the survey suggest a mixed picture of progress, which offers further reasons to widen its take up. For example, while three quarters of people report support as good or very good in terms of amount of support, choice and control, only half reported they were aware of the amount of money in their personal budget when their support was planned.

Caroline Speirs, Think Local Act Personal, said:

“At a time when social care funding is gaining more prominence at ministerial level, we are concerned that the debate does not move away from the urgency to continue supporting councils to fulfil  Care Act duties that offer people more choice and control. Every effort to improve the evidence-base and understanding of personal budgets to improve council implementation is part of this critical work.  The TLAP Partnership stands committed to support at both national and local level to make sure this happens”

Julie Stansfield, Chief Executive, In Control, said:

"Without additional strain on cost or time it is possible for councils to routinely embed POET questions into their review processes. Doing so means they will have systems in place that value the voice of local people. It will also ensure local strategic planning is based on an up to date understanding of what is working well locally and what needs to change. More information about Embedding POET into systems can be found on the In Control website (opens new window)."

In Control and TLAP are offering a free webinar that will explore the implications of the key findings, identify helpful approaches to improvement and share learning from work to embed POET into regular practice – This will be on July 19th. For further information contact admin@in-control.org.uk

In Control and TLAP will be writing to councils with information on how to embed the framework into review processes as part of the TLAP partnerships’ ongoing commitment to support the evidence-base for personal budgets programme which it began in Spring 2016.