It’s the governments latest attempt to change the frankly, awful social care system, in the form of *drum roll please* “Personalisation”. Yep. I know. When I first heard the term, I thought, “O-K”.
Gotta love the pencil pushers, right?
Two months ago, my social worker rang me up in a state of anticipation. She told me that Shropshire had finally joined the pilot (the last county to do so). We are one of the biggest counties in the UK, so why are we apparently always the last to change?
She seemed to think that this ‘personalisation‘ agenda would be ideal for me, so had nominated me for the pilot.
Fair enough. I had had enough begging social services for care funds for a day out, or paying overinflated charges.
What is Personalisation?
As any of us who have gotten services from the Council know, we have to undergo long winded assessments, every time we need something.
We often have to be classed as “Substantial” or “Moderate” to even stand a chance of getting the things we ask for. This of course, is based on my experiences only.
Personalisation – otherwise referred to as Personal Budgets, powerfully flips the system the other way, from a rigid tick box system to a more flexible way of doing things.
They seem different to Direct Payments in the respect that Direct Payments were a specific amount, had to be used for a specific need, e.g. Care. And the amount of paperwork was such you needed string to find your way back!
Personal Budgets are a specific amount, but can be spent, within reason on whatever you choose. For example, I go to a day centre, but don’t particularly want to, as the range of activities available is somewhat limited, and while I enjoy the social angle of things, the day centre has a mixed range of service users, so most of the activities are not what I am interested in, with the exception of art and gardening of course!
The government’s reform of public services means in theory that people like me can live my life as I want. They say that they are confident that the services will be high quality and it is about ensuring our independance, well-being and dignity.
So this means I can take the money the council spends on my day centre place.
Put it into my budget so that it enables me to use if for the things that I want to do? Go to see a stream train or pursue an art class. So just by doing this seemingly small adjustment, my quality of life has improved already. It can be the same for you!
The next step: getting a budget
I am currently going through the process of getting a budget, so as I go through the system, I will offer my experience and views on each stage of it.
So how do you get a personalisation budget > as a result of completing a Standard Question Assessment.
I’ve just done the Standard Question Assessment, one thing I noticed, was that it was much shorter then the other assessments I’ve done.
Each question had four or five options to tick, with a column for you ticking your thoughts, and a column for your social worker or similar to tick their thoughts, with a column for the final decision.
Much easier to use, but the language of some of the options is iffy and a bit confusing, so read each option a couple of times first.
It comes with pounds: Each question or option that I answer equals money – so the*£* signs are showing … or are they?