3 steps to Making It Real for DPULOs (#dpulo)

Personalisation is the driving force for making adult social care as good as it can be for as many people as possible – irrespective of their age, impairment group, or amount of money they have.

In a system as vast and complicated as adult social care, there will always be difficulties in translating this vision into reality.

To address this problem, the Think Local, Act Personal partnership has established “Making It Real”.

Making It Real sets out what people expect to see and experience in their experience of adult social care if it is truly personalised. There are a number of are set of “progress markers” – written by real people and families – that can help any organisation to check how they are going towards making adult social care personalised.

Making It Real isn’t a top-down, tick box exercise: it is ultimately a voluntary tool that empowers users and their organisations to ensure personalisation happens in their local communities.

The markers of Making It Real can be used by any organisation – a local council, a provider of care services, or a local voluntary sector organisation.

I strongly feel that Disabled People’s User-Led Organisations (DPULOs) have a key role in Making It Real. This role is in two ways:

  1. Leading from the front and signing up themselves to Making It Real and demonstrating their commitment to making personalisation a reality
  2. Using Making It Real to ensure local councils and providers are doing as much as they can to make personalisation a reality.

I’d argue this is what DPULOs do anyway – on both the “business” side (i.e. number 1) and on the “voice” side (i.e. number 2). But Making It Real would be an additional way of formalising these roles so that others (particularly councils) might recognise and value.

The Making It Real website has a couple of examples of organisations that have put Making It Real into practice. There are also some great examples of DPULOs that have already done this, too – including Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People and an exciting project in the north west region that is going to start soon.

The Strengthening DPULOs Programme will do more to understand how DPULOs can get involved in Making It Real as well as regularly promote what MIR is and how DPULOs can get involved.

In the meantime, here are 3 steps I’d encourage you to take if you’re a DPULO that wants to get involved in Making It Real:

  1. Find out more about Making It Real by spending 10 minutes on the website. There are a number of regional networks for Making It Real – you can find out if there’s one in your region and get involved by approaching the member of the ADASS personalisation policy network in your area (click on the relevant bit of the map here)
  2. Have an internal discussion – either in your management team or with your Management Board – about signing your organisation up (the steps to do so are detailed here) to Making It Real. You can get help with this by downloading other people’s action plans to see what they’re doing for Making It Real
  3. Contact your local council and find out if they’ve signed up to Making It Real. For example, they might want to use Making It Real to help with their Local Accounts in reporting to local populations on progress in adult social care. Similarly, if you know any social care providers in your local area you could ask them to. (A list of organisations that have signed up and a map of them is available here.)

Making It Real and DPULOs (by Rachael Wallach, #DPULO Ambassador)

I’m a very big fan of Making it Real and will be writing more about it over the coming weeks. In the meantime, one of the Ambassadors from the Strengthening DPULOs Programme – Rachael Wallach – attended the launch of Making it Real yesterday, and has written a blogpost on it below.

Making it Real was launched yesterday by the Think Local Act Personal Partnership.

Making it Real is a framework comprised of 26 markers that can be used by councils and providers to check and build on their progress towards personalisation in social care.

Disabled people have led the development of the framework through the National Co-production Advisory Group. The markers have been designed to support councils and service providers to progress personalisation in their organization by helping them to identify areas where change is required and develop action plans for delivering change.

Making it Real is a great opportunity for DPULOs to ensure disabled people have choice and control and a strong voice in their local areas when it comes to social care.

There are two main things DPULOs can do:

  1. DPULOs should encourage their local councils and service providers to sign up to Making it Real and progress personalisation in their area
  2. DPULOs who provide services may also sign up to the framework, to demonstrate their commitment to personalisation and their support for Making it Real.

The Making it Real markers are focused around 6 themes:

  • Information and Advice
  • Active and supportive communities
  • Flexible integrated care and support
  • Workforce
  • Risk enablement
  • Personal budgets and self-funding

Each of the 26 different markers is an “I” statement that expresses what disabled people want to see and experience and how they would feel if personalisation was working well. For example “I have access to a range of support that helps me to live the life I want and remain a contributing member of my community”.

You can find out how to sign up to Making it Real here.

131 organisations have already publically declared their commitment to Making it Real. The framework is already being used and endorsed by many statutory organizations including the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Excellence in Councils Adult Social Care Board, The Local Government Group and the Department of Health.

Representatives from the Think Local Act Personal Partnership told attendees of the launch how they were supporting Making it Real by supporting national organisations to align their strategic priorities, running regional sessions to promote awareness amongst service users, providers and councils and hosting a series of themed networking events across the country starting with workforce development and employing PAs. If as a DPULO you’d like to know more about this, please get in touch with us.

Paralympic gold medalist Danny Crates gave his support for Making it Real. As he put it:

Something that enables disabled people top make their own choices and design their own care plans can only be a good thing.

To find out more information about Making it Real click here.

The Strengthening DPULOs Programme will be doing more work with Making it Real, so watch this space!