New ADASS Personalisation Survey Shows Councils on Target for 2013

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Tuesday 18th October, 2011
Embargo: 00.01 HRS, Wednesday 19th October, 2011

Councils have taken significant and sufficient steps - such as mainstreaming, re-engineering services, identifying new suppliers, and staff training and development - to achieve their target of providing universal personal budgets by 2013, according to a survey conducted by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.

According to the report, The findings suggest that the (Governments) Vision for Adult Social Care has given the sector the autonomy and confidence to lay the foundations of creative, varied local practice and sector-led improvement on personalisation by councils, some of which has the potential to be scaled up and transferred. The sector will now need to look at how it supports the transfer of good practice across local government.

Findings included:
 
* 98% of respondents have a clear strategic approach for meeting the 2013 ambition of personal budgets through direct payments for everyone,

* 97% say they are on target - but two councils participating in the survey admitted that `progress is slow,

* 50% clearly state or imply that current take up of personal budgets stands at less than 60%, and 23 councils (40%) state or imply their current take up level is at 60% or above. Six councils either did not respond, or did not provide sufficient information to allow for further deductive analysis.

* Three councils suggest that they are on target for a 100% take up by the end of 2011-12.

* 98% are confident that they have accurately identified the target group for achievement of universal personal budgets by 2013. Only one respondent (2%) is not confident about this.

The number of people eligible varied from council to council. For instance large counties typically have eligible target group populations of more than 15,000 users or potential users, whereas some London Boroughs cited target groups of fewer than 5,000. A significant number (more than half) of respondents said that they had mainstreamed personalised budgets across the service, while others were early adopters of self-directed support.

The findings indicate as well that nearly all respondents have, and continue to promote proactively, direct payments at the same time as personalised budgets.

In his speech to this weeks National Childrens and Adults Social Care Conference, ADASS President Peter Hay is due to say: Here are new offers financial and information products emerging in places where the care market is already shaped by the dominance of citizens who pay for their own care. These are councils as public sector heroes, working with the reality of need and vulnerability, courageous to make things happen in spaces where retreat and blame may otherwise lurk.

The survey stresses that alongside personalising budgets, we have implemented a whole new model for care moving away for the tight constraints of a system set solely by eligibility, to one that includes enablement and prevention. Within this model councils are pushing further ideas like enablement running through the lifetime of care, payment by outcomes, and rewarding those who minimise reliance on care.

Yet, he warned, All councils know that we have a long way still to go in creating an information and support offer to all.

ENDS

For further information contact:
Peter Hay, President ADASS, 021 303 2992
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Adviser, 020 8348 5023/07976 847755

Copies of the full report available at:


EDITORIAL NOTES

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) represents directors of adult social services in local authorities in England. DASSs have statutory responsibilities for the social care of older people and adults with disabilities, while over 50 per cent also run social housing departments. ADASS members might also share a number of responsibilities for the provision and/or commissioning of housing, leisure, library, culture and arts services within their councils.

`Personalisation' is a term used to describe a number of ways in which vulnerable adults and their carers can receive a mixture of local authority and government money in order to pay directly for the care services they need without direct social services involvement.

They will be helped in making an assessment of their needs and finances by social workers who will also involve and consider the needs and availability of carers. Any contractual agreement is therefore between the individual and the care worker or operator.

The government has urged local authorities to prioritise the roll-out of individual budgets. A National Director for Social Care Transformation was appointed in September 2008 to contribute to the development of personalised services.