Right to Control Trailblazer update: overview

Right to ControlIn my professional life I have spent a considerable proportion of time over the last few months working on the Right to Control Trailblazer in Essex, focusing on service design and reform.

My initial thoughts on the Right to Control Trailblazer, posted after the launch event, can be found here. This post updates those thoughts after 5 months of significant work and progress.

First, an overview. We’re seeking to achieve 3 aims with the Trailblazer.

The first is to ensure that the services and resources a disabled person accesses, and the systems and processes they have to navigate to secure those resources, are organised around the individual. This rather than the more typically found arrangements in which individuals have to fit around service providers, sometimes changing their behaviour to do so.

The second is to ensure that the services an individual accesses are personalised to their requirements, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

The third and final aim is, as far as possible, to put choice and control in the hands of the individual instead of the service/professional (the idea of “professionals on tap, not on top”). This includes cash-quantifying a service and working towards giving an individual this cash equivalent amount in lieu of the service to achieve the same results/outcomes. (Such cash payments take the form of Direct Payments in a narrow version of the work, and Personal Budgets in a more ambitious version.)

For the Right to Control we’re working on a subset of services and resources that disabled people access. These go across 3 policy sectors and 6 funding streams as follows: social care (Adult Social Care funding, Independent Living Fund), employment (Access to Work, Work Choice) and housing (Disabled Facilities Grant, Supporting People). These sectors and funding streams touch 6 main types of public agency at local and central government levels: local authorities with social service responsibilities, Job Centres Plus and District / Borough Councils, with input from the Department of Health, the Department for Work and Pensions, and the Office for Disability Issues in a coordinating, facilitative role. The role of my organisation (ecdp) is to provide service user perspectives and ensure the whole process is delivered through the principle and effect of coproduction.

As will all public service design and reform, but particularly that which goes across several different policy sectors, the process so far has been fascinating. As we’ve been going along I’ve been keeping notes across various themes of the challenges and issues we’ve faced. These are shared in a series of posts containing various observations and questions (not all of which have answers). They’re shared in the hope they may be useful for people undertaking other projects, of which I suspect there are more as the public purse realities hit home, or for us to benefit from the knowledge and experience of others. The areas covered are below (I shall include the links after each post is published):

One area of obvious overlap with the Right to Control work is with Total Place. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough of the practical lessons and implications from Total Place so far to usefully draw parallels with the Right to Control Trailblazer work. However, if anyone with that knowledge wants to get together and draw those parallels, I’d love to – please get in touch.

The usual caveat applies to this series of posts: these are personal reflections that should in no way be taken to reflect any official view.

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rich_w

Man of letters & numbers; also occasionally of action. Husband to NTW. Dad of three. Friendly geek.

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