Welcoming a DACO

What’s a DACO? It’s a Deregulation and Contracting Order and it looks like this (pdf).

This particular Order relates to two key policy pilots going on at the moment: one from the Department of Health on Social Work Practices and another from the Office for Disability Issues (sponsored by Department for Work and Pensions) on the Right to Control.

For Social Work Practices, the Order is relatively straightforward: it provides for the ability for SWPs to “discharge the statutory duties of the local authority” for their social care clients. (I wrote positively about SWPs back in November.)

The Order is interesting, though, because it also allows third parties to undertake social care reviews as part of the Right to Control process (which I’ve written about here).

This is potentially very exciting: within a controlled (i.e. pilot) environment, it provides for disabled people’s user-led organisations to be involved in the review of social care packages. It could also extend to other areas the Right to Control covers.

Where DPULOs have been as integrally involved in the social care process it has led to better outcomes for disabled and older people (as per this research on Support, Advocacy and Brokerage by the Office for Disability Issues.)

On the back of the Open Public Services White Paper yesterday, this is one example of how a tweak of a regulation here or there can have a positive and leveling impact on the commissioning landscape. I welcome it.

(Note / disclosure: My organisation ecdp is involved in the Right to Control and has contributed to work with colleagues in local and central government to realise this Order.)