A Practical Development Programme

Personal Budgets and the Care Act - Using the learning, moving forward - A Practical Development Programme

Programme outline

In Control is offering an opportunity for up to 10 Councils who want to use the learning from the last 10-15 years to fully realise the potential that personal budgets can offer people as part of successful Care Act implementation. We now have very clear knowledge about what works best in implementing personal budgets and this knowledge can quickly be put to effective use in localities.


This development programme combines place based and collaborative elements. Participant councils will receive hands on local support from In Control and access to joint programme development sessions in order to complete the following process:


One: A high level stock take

Using the criteria of the three "building blocks of great support" that have emerged from 10 years of Personal Outcomes Evaluation Tool (POET) surveys, in many councils, In Control will support a high level review of current systems and tools used locally, focussing on the main steps of the care and support process, including;


• Sign posting and initial response

• Assessment and the identification of outcomes

• Determination of eligibility

• Options for holding and managing personal budgets

• Allocation decisions

• Support Planning

• Plan approval process

• Review arrangements

• Public Information


In particular the review will consider what information is provided directly to people who ask for help, about how the care and support system works locally, about how key decisions will be made and the support and choices available to them throughout the process. The review will Identify areas for improvement and recommend required action.


The stock take will be a desktop review of key tools and paperwork including information leaflets assessment and planning tools and other relevant documentation. These will be assessed against the 3 building blocks and areas for improvement identified.  In addition to the appraisal of tools and paperwork In Control will support a set of one off, on site structured and facilitated focus groups for key stakeholders;


• Managers involved in supervising care planning and assessment staff and in ratifying eligibility and allocation decisions.

• Council staff working in assessment and care planning roles.

• Providers of care and support services.

• People who have recently been through the assessment and care planning process and their family members.


The working groups will provide insight to recent experiences of the care and support system in Islington from a range of perspectives. Participants will use this personal experience of the care and support system locally to consider the extent to which the 3 building blocks of great support are at play. They will highlight areas of good practise to be shared more broadly in the borough and identify practical action required to ensure the experience of local people is in line with the building blocks of great support.


In Control will provide a summary of the sessions along with detail of key issues and findings.


Two: Embedding performance and quality assurance using the Personal Outcome Evaluation Tool.

In Control will support key performance and practise managers to embed the POET into the review process and where possible IT systems. Ensuring routine capture of critical performance information. Allowing the production of regular live reports detailing performance against each of the building blocks of great support.

This will ensure senior managers and other interested people locally will have access to up to date performance information detailing the experience of people outcomes for local people who have support.

In Control support with;

  • Provision and licenced use of the POET.
  • Support to embed and routinely capture POET responses.
  • Preparation of the POET report benchmarking local findings with those gathered from elsewhere in England.
  • Presentation of key findings to key stake holders and facilitate consideration of implications for strategic development.

Three: Designing an approach for community investment

Of course not everything you want to do is achievable by working at an individual or family level. Often it will make sense to work in a collective basis with communities. There is much from our learning to date that is applicable at a wider level so we are working with councils to re-invent commissioning.

In Control will undertake a design and development session with local commissioners and other relevant and interested people that will explore how the learning from personalisation , person centred planning and in particular the building block of great support might be applied at a community as well as an individual level.

The session will take participants beyond thinking about individual support arrangements and consider how a community centred planning process might provide an alternative to traditional commissioning mechanisms. We will work with local commissioners and other relevant people to develop an approach to community development that transfers the building blocks for good support from an induvial to a community level.

In Control will facilitate the design process. Should the council choose to adopt the approach we will also seek to agree with the council how we can be available to support the implementation of the approach and undertake an evaluation of its impact.


Cost and application

The programme is available on a "membership plus" basis at a cost of £7,000. Participant councils will become Community of Change members of In Control for one year and have access to the wider membership benefits as well as the personal budgets development programme


Contact information:

For more information or express an interest in this opportunity

Email: admin@in-control.org.uk or john.waters@in-control.org.uk

Tel: 01564 82 1650, mobile 07403 413476