Personalisation’s progress: performance patchy
JEF SMITH examines how the ‘personalisation agenda’, along with direct payments and individul budgets, currently causing much head-scratching in the social care sector, might be taken up by the NHS.
Social care is often treated by the Department of Health as little more than a poor relation of the NHS. This is already clear, for example, from the appointments of commissioners and senior staff to the new Care Quality Commission, with four directors appointed from similar posts at the Healthcare Commission but none from the Commission for Social Care Inspection. Then there is the long standing budgetary disparity, health services having enjoyed unprecedented growth rates over the last decade while care has had to make do with the much more constrained level of investment provided for local government. And when it comes to staff, there is simply no comparison between the salaries and status of health professionals on the one hand and most care workers on the other. Seamlessness may be the objective, but one half of the resulting garment looks rich, the other distinctly ragged.
So it comes as some surprise to find personalisation, an idea which has been pioneered in the social services, now being taken