Head of Co-production
The call for personalisation has grown over two decades and has survived changes in government.
The central idea is that personalisation will mean services are provided in ways that empower individuals and enable them to take more control over their care and support.
It is intended to put people at the heart of services, to enable them to have greater choice over what services they receive and when, and to give them greater control in deciding how to direct their care and support. This requires services to be individually tailored to support each person’s circumstances.
Up2us was set up to investigate personalisation in housing care and support. Six pilots ran for three years in Barking & Dagenham, Kensington & Chelsea, Kent, Knowsley, Norfolk, and Oxfordshire. Each pilot aimed to develop and test ways of bringing people together to pool money in order to buy the care and support that they want.
The pilots set out to explore two main issues:
Housing Associations facilitated the pilots and worked with people who have personal budgets or funding from other sources. Each pilot was expected to demonstrate a culture of working that encouraged co-production and to ensure that people who use services are at the centre of each pilot scheme.
As the up2us learning partner, nef (the new economics foundation), worked alongside the pilot sites as a critical friend, tracking developments, drawing out lessons, feeding them back to participants, and building knowledge about what works and what doesn’t. The learning approach included regularly sharing information between sites and one-to-one interviews with local stakeholders.
A well-being questionnaire was completed by up2us participants and further well-being analysis was conducted on qualitative findings. Throughout, there were regular reviews and discussions about the extent to which co-production was taking place within the pilots.
The practical activity of the pilots was diverse and included:
Each area’s experiences are captured in this report. The activity extended beyond the initial focus on collective purchasing, allowing for a wider exploration of personalisation in a housing context. This has also revealed a great deal about how organisations function and how their culture, ethos, and procedures respond to change.
The pilots demonstrated that Housing Associations can enable and support ways of doing things that start from the bottom up and are co-produced by people who use services alongside professionals. At times, however, working in this way was at odds with the prevailing culture and ethos. In order for Housing Associations to support people to co-produce personalisation and explore opportunities to pool budgets, certain changes are essential.
Choice is extremely important in all aspects of co-production and personalisation. There are benefits for individuals and organisations from grouping together to do and buy things. But it is critical that people are able to choose to do this. Service providers and commissioners can’t impose collective approaches or assign people to groups that don’t matter to them.
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