Until recently, if you were eligible for help with social care from your local authority, you would receive a care plan with a list of services to help you. Your choice was limited – either have the services in your care plan arranged by the local authority or receive ‘direct payments’ and use the money to buy in services yourself.
If you had direct payments, you had greater choice, because you were able to choose your own care provider and make arrangements yourself. Even then, care plans were usually prepared by adult social care without much involvement of you or your carer.
This changed as a result of ‘personalisation’. The basic principle is your care and support should be individualised and tailored to fit around your specific needs, giving you greater independence, choice and control over your life.
This has led to greater choice in how your care and support is delivered, but also puts more responsibility on you to manage your care needs. It has led to more arrangements by local authorities with private and voluntary sector organisations to provide social care. Local authorities provide fewer services themselves and are now commissioners of services more than provider.
Under the Living Well project, funded by the IW Council through the Improved Better Care Fund, People Matter IW are offering a brokerage support service. This free service assists with identifying the right care package for an individual and works with them to put that package in place.