Personalisation Agenda

What is Personalisation?

Department of Health: ‘the shared ambition is to put people first through a radical reform of public services.  It will mean that people are able to live their own lives as they wish; confident that services are of high quality, are safe and promote their own individual needs for independence, well-being, and dignity’ This means that every person who receives support, whether provided by statutory services or funded by themselves, will have choice and control over the shape of that support in all care settings’

The ethos of personalisation seeks to ensure vulnerable clients and their families have more choice and flexibility in the way care is provided. This is a shift in ideology from traditional ways of working whereby a social worker would assess and co-ordinate a care package on behalf of vulnerable clients via contracted care agencies. Direct Payments entail a calculated budget for the cost of your care needs being paid to the service user or their appointed agent to manage on their behalf and purchase the care outlined in their support plan. Personalisation seeks to identify the financial value of the care required to meet identified needs and provides the option of becoming the recipient of those funds, so as to make your own care arrangements independently and in line with individual preferences. This is a refreshing concept and provides flexibility in how care is delivered so long as it meets identified outcomes and well- being.

Individual budgets are designed to give people a full understanding of the finance that is available to fund their care, in order to empower them to take control and make decisions about the care that they receive. Direct payments are cash payments made to individuals who have been assessed as needing services, in lieu of social service provisions. Local authorities now issue direct payments funds to service users to purchase their own care or an appointed agent usually a family member, is able to manage the funds on their behalf. Everyone who is entitled to care can request direct payments care to purchase their own care. Alternatively, the authority is able to manage an individual budget on behalf of a service users and purchase to required care to meet their needs on their behalf. It is important to note that Direct Payment hourly rates are variable form one local authority to the next and the hourly rate may not necessarily meet the full hourly cost of a carer, be they privately employed or from a domicillary care agency . This often results in having to top up the funds provided or minimising the level of care delivery to what can be afforded from the funds made available. There is however also scope to discuss encountered difficulties identifying suitable carers, due to insufficient funds and this is an area Epiphany may be able to assist with.