Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Personalisation - by order

As a carer, I've just received a copy of a presentation given by our local head of commissioning on the way forward for personalisation, locally. Afraid my worst fears were confirmed - not so much by the content, which was the usual '7 easy (!) steps to a personalised service' type, but the order. The most worrying thing was that step 1 was 'how much money you'd get' and step 2 'what services you can get' - so they decide how much you get before they decide what you need - again.

They really don't get it - personalisation is meant to be about the right service for you, not how much can they keep the service from costing. I'm sure they'll come back saying 'Oh, it's not meant to be like that' but it's the attitude and the fundamental mindset that always puts the cost before the service. Personalisation is meant to be about services but the evidence seems to be that it's really about 'personalising' service cuts.


  1. It is thoroughly disheartening, isn't it? I can't say I'm any more positive or surprised coming from 'the other side of the fence'. I love the idea of personalisation but am increasingly disillusioned by its implementation as I don't really think it is about better services in general, it's about cost cutting and 'making the right noises'. It works very well for some people of course, and often the people it works well for will be the ones rolled out to praise the progress heartily.
    I would love for it to be more about the ideology of truly individualised services but there isn't enough money in the pot for that and it's a matter of who shouts loudest getting the larger share of the pie.. I know, a bit cynical..

  2. It must be depressing seeing a good principle debased, from a professional point of view. Unfortunately I've become quite cynical about this, having seen Care in the Community go the same way, for lack of resources rather than goodwill.

  3. The funny thing was when I worked for Social Services we were told that IBs were definitely not about saving money to which many of us responded to with some cynicism.

    I think the problem in social care is that whatever you do, however noble the original intentions, it always comes down to the money. There was with IBs an initial hope that they would be both better and cheaper (much like Camerons current rhetoric), though up until a year ago when I left the forecast had been downgraded by my authority from cost saving to cost neutral. Evidence I have seen now I'm a student of social policy suggests other authorities involved in piloting IBs began projecting that IBs would cost more than 'traditional' services.

  4. Yes its always about money and attitude :(

  5. Sadly you are right Ned as it always seems to be "the cost before the service." cb is correct about "making the right noises" - but the right noises are meaningless if thats all that they are.

    I am a carer too and my husband has only ever received DLA - not the top rate. It seems that while he was self-employed, he didn't earn enough to contribute the required amount (in the last three years of working) to NI, to qualify for other benfits. The fact that he worked for thirty plus years and never claimed any sort of benifit prior to his illness - has no bearing. So that's all he gets - nothing more. No doubt he would now qualify for the top rate of care - but I would not humble myself by applying for it or put him through the degradation of justifying it.

    Not fair Ned. Not fair.

    Anna G :o]

  6. Anna,
    you're dead right - it's not fair. It has to be your decision, but I'd recommend applying if you feel you'd qualify for more. Look on it as your right - you paid in, you deserve it - it's a bit like insurance, not charity. And if you don't apply, they'll seem to have won. Look on it as a small victory if you get it.
    I can understand why you feel unhappy about applying and it has to be what's right for you. You still have the power to decide not to play their game. Life isn't just about money and battles.
    Best wishes, Ned.