Headlines: June 5th, 2008

A series of workshops will be held around the country to help local authorities transform their systems so people with disabilities can lead more independent lives. They will be led by the Department of Health as part of a series of measures to deliver the Independent Living Strategy.

The Minister for Care Services, Ivan Lewis, has announced an extra 900,000 pounds in funding to back up the plans. It will include money to help 14 new user-led organisations to become Action and Learning Sites. The organisations are controlled by disabled people. Mr. Lewis, who was speaking at a consultation event on the delivery of the Strategy, also unveiled the Personalisation Resource Toolkit.

It is the first result of the Personalisation Programme, which is working with adult Social care leaders to help local authorities transform their systems so care users have more control over the services they need. The toolkit provides advice and examples of good practice to councils as they implement a personalised system. Mr. Lewis said, “Last year over 100 user-led organisations applied to become action and learning sites. We hope that there will be a similar level of interest in the second wave.”

Turning to the Personalisation Resource Toolkit, he said, “The Department of Health will also be working with leaders in the adult social care sector to recruit a National Director for Social Care Transformation, and will be leading a series of workshops around the country to help local authorities transform their systems.”

The extra funding for the user-led organisations is aimed at building their capacity and long term sustainability. The best practice that results from the Action and Learning Sites will be shared to ensure that every area has the chance to develop and have access to its own user-led organisation.