Watch SCIL Give Evidence At HCC Personalisation Commission

Many blog readers may have been following the work of the Personalisation Commission run by Hampshire County Council.

Below is the edited highlights video of the third evidence session where Robert Droy and Ian Loynes from SCIL gave evidence.

Here’s a few excerpts from our presentation:

‘The principles underpinning the personalisation agenda ‑ and that is self‑assessment, choice, control, flexibility ‑ have all been fought for by disabled people for over 20 years now….. self‑assessment should be from the perspective of their peers, people who understand what options there are in life.  All of these issues have been debated and talked about and done in many respects, and Hampshire was one of the early authorities to latch onto the idea of self‑assessment before it became Government policy, and we look forward to the day where self‑assessment again becomes a priority in local authorities. 

Individual budgets are different to direct payments and various other things, but they are different flavours of the same thing, so there is nothing new under the rainbow.  Let’s not reinvent new wheels unless we really need to, and occasionally we might.  The point we make and we always make is that direct payments worked well because disabled people developed it. 

I think we would like to see this whole Commission and what comes out of it actually being led by disabled people, not the people who think they might know what we want, because all too often they do not. If disabled people are to control their own lives, then they have to be in control of how their services are developed and provided.  We cannot just have a solution provided to us and say, “Right, off you go.  Here’s 500 quid a month, you decide what to do with it”.  We have got to be in control of how those are developed, how they are supported, and all the infrastructure around that.

At SCIL we support people both in Hampshire and Southampton, and we support hundreds of disabled people who have their own personal assistant, and the incidence of abuse is actually very small. Risk needs to be kept in perspective.  There are risks in all areas of life and I am very aware of that. Choice and control means actually allowing users to make risky choices.  We cannot just talk about choice and control and then say, “Yes, but when you do something that we don’t agree with, we are going to step in…”.

In terms of flexibility, everybody wants some degree of choice and control over how they receive their basic support.  One of the biggest things that irritate me is when people say “Well, some people won’t necessarily want choice and control”.  Well, they might not want choice and control over a trivial aspect of their life, but believe me anybody, no matter what age, no matter what stage in their life, and older people and people at the end of their life probably want more choice and control over who is actually going to be supporting them.  So I totally reject this notion that some people will not want choice and control. 

I personally think, if day services do not offer people stimulation and support, they should shut down.  You know, too many day services I am aware of I believe are just holding pens for cheap respite care.’

You can also read the full transcript of the session here.

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