Person-centredness isn’t a new concept; it’s been around for many years although unfortunately it still isn’t happening as it should in some services. Many providers have the right intention but it doesn’t always translate in to practice where it matters most.

Here at ARC, we are huge advocates of empowering people who access support, and as many members know we are enhancing services through our Active Support training and consultancy services. Once again this year, we have seen the appetite of providers to implement Active Support as their chosen way of working increase extensively in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Europe. We are looking at supporting the equivalent of a Local Authority in Malta at the moment as well as many services in the UK. The word is certainly getting out there acknowledging that Active Support is the pre-cursor to Positive Behavioural Support and the most impactful way of developing the independence of people with learning disabilities no matter how complex or profound. Of course, independence and participation in ones own life doesn’t just sit with service providers – it is bigger than that. So many stakeholders within social care are also key ‘players’ in making it happen.

As part of our commitment to increasing true personalisation, we continue to be actively involved with Think Local, Act Personal (TLAP). TLAP have re-grouped and re-focused, and are coming back better than ever before.

On Tuesday 3rd October Siân Anderson, ARC England’s Membership and Services Officer, attended the Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) summit on behalf of ARC. Titled Making a new Making it Real, TLAP’s new focus is to build upon the personalisation framework it launched over five years ago, which utilised ‘I statements’ to promote a bottom-up approach to denoting people’s experiences. This time, they have taken a more holistic stance by involving wider aspects such as health and housing, in an attempt to help it “reflect the reality of how people wish to live their lives”, from the perspective of those who use services, and how to effectively implement this, through Making it Stick. In his introduction, Don Redding, Director of Policy at National Voices, explained how there is still an appetite for personalisation in care, which was demonstrated by Anna Severwright from the Coalition for Collaborative Care Co-production group, as she discussed her experience of disjointed care and desire to be seen as a person beyond domains of illness.

The first session explored the six themes set out in the initial framework, with focus on how these ‘I statements’ can be put into practice to make them a reality. These themes were discussed in groups and evaluated through reference to overarching Universal Statements, applying to all. Then, from the diverse perspectives of local people and organisations, commissioners, providers and national bodies and organisations, the factors that might ‘sabotage’ the implementation of Making it Stick were also considered. This included the need to make it relevant across the breadth of organisations and dissemination across their workforce, as well as the inevitable issue of austerity as a question of time and resources available for implementation. However, this naturally led to a discussion of what might actually help it to work, so its relevance to CQC’s 5 key questions and the Care Act was also discussed, as well as its relevance to the wider social world, as an opportunity for collaboration.

Overall, ARC is really glad to be a part of this and looks forward to the introduction of the finalised framework, expected in March 2018. If you would like to know more about our Active Support consultancy service and how we can help you support the people who access your services in a more impactful way, please get in touch:

Have a great weekend,

Siân Anderson and Lisa Lenton