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Better Lives report hails Choice Support/Southwark Council initiative

An independent evaluation published today hails the success of a joint Choice Support/Southwark Adult Services initiative to personalise community-based services for people with learning disabilities.

Better Lives, published by The Centre for Welfare Reform in association with Bucks New University Social and Health Evaluation Unit, examines the impact of a programme implemented between 2010 and 2014 to break down a large traditional block contract of over £6 million into 83 Individual Service Funds (ISFs) with person centred plans (PCPs).

It verifies that the programme achieved savings of £1.79 million (29.75%) over the four year period.

Drawing on quality of life audits for 70 people receiving services, and from questionnaires for support staff, social services staff and parents, next of kin or friends, report authors Professor Roger Ellis, Professor David Sines and Professor Elaine Hogard conclude:

“There is no doubt that the Personalisation Programme introduced by Choice Support in partnership with the London Borough of Southwark can be judged a success. For the majority of the 70 individuals the introduction of ISFs linked with PCPs has improved their quality of life. This has been achieved with a substantial net saving over the previous block grant scheme. There have been no increased risks that we could find and both staff and relatives have a generally positive view of the Programme and its impact on individuals.”

Writing in the report’s foreword, Dr Simon Duffy, Director of The Centre for Welfare Reform, says the research:

“… verifies that the savings were achieved, but more importantly it identifies that there have been on-going improvements in the quality of most people’s lives. This is an amazing achievement at a time when cuts to Local Government by Central Government have created serious problems for social care.”

Read the report here.

Better Lives is the third report examining the Southwark personalisation programme. The first two are available here:

ISFs in Action

Better Nights

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