Improving outcomes for service users in adult placement - Commissioning and care management

Introduction - Policy context

This project has been carried out during a period of considerable change for social care services, and particularly for adult placement.


In August 2004 new regulations and national minimum standards for adult placement schemes were established. (4). During the period this project was carried out schemes were working to comply with new requirements and develop best practice standards. Also during this period the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) was developing and piloting methodology for inspecting adult placement schemes; two schemes participating in the SCIE project were involved in the CSCI work. (This methodology is now in place but being reviewed as part of a wider review of inspection methodology for all registered services.)

White Paper

The adult services White Paper, Our health, our care, our say was published in January 2006. (5). It builds on the Green Paper, Independence, well-being and choice, (6), which set out a vision of greater choice and support, involving the whole community, and identified adult placement as an innovative service that the Government wished to see develop and grow. The White Paper calls for closer working between health and social care toassess and plan for the needs of the local population and to ensure the local care service market meets those needs. It further strengthens the development of commissioning at the level of the service user through expansion of 'individual budgets’.

These messages from the White Paper are reinforced by the first annual report from the Office for Disability Issues (ODI), (7), set up in response to the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit report Improving the life chances of disabled people. (8). The ODI report, which sets out progress towards meeting the Government’s goal of achieving substantive equality for disabled people, includes a call for extensive development work to ensure that individual budgets and other proposed changes improve outcomes for disabled people.