Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Now it's personal ........ isation

Personalisation of social services is not my favourite thing - as you may have gathered. I don't want it, have seen the damage it's being used to cause by cutting services and see it, like Care in the Community, as an unarguably 'good thing' that is being used to smoke screen cuts in real services for vulnerable people that need them. And now it looks like we're going to have to face them ourselves.

Our own service predates the whole 'personalisation agenda'. It's based on a Person Centred Plan and provided by ourselves and two charitable service providers, funded originally jointly by Health and Social Services. It's complicated but it works and was recently rated excellent by CQC. But now CQC has changed it's regulatory requirements and neither service can afford the complexity of registering under all the headings required for part of the service for just one client. The current proposal is that the part of the service they can't register for be passed to us (because as relatives/carers we do don't need to register) and we employ the same people/service under Direct Payments.

There is no change to the service, no one benefits, it is a wasteful duplication of work and it complicates matters even more. We will have responsibility for employment, money and administration on top of the care we deliver - at no cost of course. This is daft, but to keep legal we may well have to go along with it.

I don't yet know if moving this part of the service to us will reduce the money provided for it but suspect it will. I'm not yet sure what we are going to do about this because leaving all my principles behind, the only thing that really matters is that my son gets the best service he can. I won't jeapordise his care for this but I'm deeply unhappy about it.

A few riders -
I don't blame the service providers, they are doing their best to provide a high quality service but have been put in an impossible position. I do blame CQC and the 'Personalisation Agenda' for it's 'one size fits all, tick box culture'.
The fact that as family/carers we don't have to register is bonkers - it's in the family, not service providers, where most abuse and neglect takes place - this would not protect my son if we had been abusive parents - I thought that's what CQC was there for.
We are relatively articulate advocates for my son. From my involvement with other people with learning disabilities, I know many people who will not be able to argue their corner themselves - and the cost of advocacy and brokerage comes out of the service package cost, reducing actual care even more. If we can't win this battle, what hope for them.

I haven't given up but I am very worried.

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