Personalisation: a rough guide

SCIE Guide 47
Published: November 2012

This publication aims to tell the story so far about the personalisation of adult social care services. It is intended to be a ‘rough guide’, exploring what personalisation is, where the idea came from and placing the transformation of adult social care in the wider public service reform agenda. It explains some of the basics and examines what personalisation means for different social care stakeholders and for the sector as a whole.

Who is the guide for?

This guide is aimed at all those concerned with implementing personalisation in adult social care and health.

How SCIE is trying to help

I just want to control my own life ... I like to socialise with other people and meet new friends. I just want to enjoy my freedom. I don't want people to control my life for me. I want to control it myself. That's what my Mum brought me up for, to control my own life.

‘Maria’ in Taylor et al. 2007: 92

By identifying and transferring knowledge about good practice, the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has a special role to play in the transformation of social care services for adults. One of the organisation‟s main priorities is to support the personalisation of adult social care and health services.

SCIE was a signatory to the Putting People First (HM Government 2007) concordat, which set out the shared commitment to the transformation of adult social care in England. It hosts Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) sector-led transformation partnership, which leads on personalisation in adult social care.

Personalisation means, for me, that I want to be able to stay living in my own home. I want to be able to access every kind of public transport. I guess it's really about the ordinary, to be honest.

Ann Macfarlane in Social Care TV, Personalisation for older people living at home

SCIE recognises that the concept of personalisation continues to evolve in terms of both policy and practice. It has produced further materials that reflect the evidence and experience arising from implementation and further developments. This guide is not an effort to capture everything that is happening in personalisation, but rather offers a brief, accessible overview of some of the evidence, ideas, issues and implications in England.

Public service reform has proceeded far more successfully where government has successfully articulated a story about reform ... that has engaged the workforce.

Brooks 2007: 3

Personalisation means recognising people as individuals who have strengths and preferences and putting them at the centre of their own care and support.

The traditional service-led approach has often meant that people have not been able to shape the kind of support they need, or received the right help.

Personalised approaches like self directed support and personal budgets involve enabling people to identify their own needs and make choices about how and when they are supported to live their lives. People need access to information, advocacy and advice so they can make informed decisions.

What is personalisation?

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Personalisation is also about making sure there is an integrated, community-based approach for everyone. This involves building community capacity and local strategic commissioning so that people have a good choice of support, including that provided by user-led organisations. It means ensuring people can access universal services such as transport, leisure, education, housing, health and employment opportunities. All systems, processes, staff and services need to put people at the centre.