Personalisation has been around since the ‘70’s and Direct Payments, a key marker of personalised services since the mid 90’s.
In the same time period, Man had just landed on the moon, the UK switched to decimalisation, Margaret Thatcher became the first UK women Prime Minister, the Berlin Wall fell, the world wide web was invented, the Channel Tunnel opened, Google was founded, the euro was introduced and so it goes on. You get the picture – we’ve struggled with personalisation and Direct Payments for a long time whilst all around phenomenal change and innovation has occurred.
There’s been an endless discussion, reports, research papers and pilot projects to encourage people who receive council-funded support (service users), yet the ‘number of services users receiving direct payments has stalled … falling from a total figure of 130,000 to 128,000 in 2017/18’. This equates to ‘17.5% of over 65s … compared to 40+% of working-age adults.’ Hidden within these figures are large variations across the country - fewer than 9% to almost 60%. Why? The report is unsure but suggests a lack of support to help people manage services, a lack of personal assistants and services to choose from.
I think a significant reason is that as a sector, we look too often to resolve today's challenges with solutions from the past. We find comfort in the same old systems, so consequently, what we do and the resulting outcomes don’t fundamentally change.
As part of personalisation and Direct Payments, we talk about empowerment, championing independence, choice and wellbeing. We continually strive to be more effective, efficient, make savings; to connect people and communities, build resilience and sustainability. Perversely however we tender for complicated, resource-intensive systems and services that are burdensome for all parties and maintain people’s dependency. Why? Often because we don’t realise there’s an alternative.
So, is there an alternative? Absolutely – Younifi, a solution for today’s challenges and tomorrows possibilities. Younifi is designed:
- To make the complexities of social care simple for all – people, councils and providers.
- From three interconnected perspectives – the person, the council and the provider, with the person being the common denominator.
- To enable people to easily find their own support and manage their own care; create their own network of support and control the amount of information shared.
- To ensure people have the tools to manage their care irrespective of funding and who they may choose to manage other aspects of their care.
- So that Direct Payments are simple to administer and attractive, whilst maintaining full visibility and accountability of spend.
- For people to use their Direct Payments in flexible and innovative ways from all parts of their communities, including micro providers and other people with common interests or experiences.