Department of Health and Social Care
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Government pledges £900,000 towards independent living and launches support programme for councils

Government pledges £900,000 towards independent living and launches support programme for councils

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH News Release issued by The Government News Network on 4 June 2008

Minister for Care Services Ivan Lewis today announced an extra £900,000 to help disabled people work towards having more independent lives.

Speaking at an Office for Disability Issues consultation event on delivery of the Independent Living Strategy the Minister pledged new funding to help create up to 14 user-led organisations become new Action and Learning Sites. These organisations are led and controlled by disabled people and aim to help disabled people lead more independent lives.

Also being launched today is the Personalisation Resource Toolkit, part of the early work on the Personalisation Programme. This programme will work with leaders in the adult social care field to help councils transform their systems so social care service users have more control over the care they receive. The toolkit is the first product of the programme and will provide advice and examples of good practice to local authorities as they move to implementing a personalised system.

Minister for Care Services Ivan Lewis said:

"I am delighted to announce this new funding for Action and Learning sites, to support disabled people in leading more independent lives. 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. We are already supporting 12 sites which we announced in March this year.

"I am also pleased to support the Personalisation Programme with the introduction of the Personalisation guide. This guide will provide councils with the building blocks to deliver a more personalised care service where the individual themselves is in control of their support. 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 will assist User-Led Organisations to develop and improve their capacity and long term sustainability. The best practice resulting from the Action and Learning Sites will be shared to ensure that every locality has the chance to develop and have access to a user-led organisation.

Minister for Disabled People, Anne McGuire, said:

"Today's announcements reflect the Government's commitment to give people greater choice and control over the support they receive. We are consulting on how to involve disabled people in implementing and monitoring the Independent Living Strategy. I welcome the additional funding for user-led organisations which are so important in achieving independent living for disabled people".

The Personalisation Toolkit is an on-line resource to help councils and their partners set up a change programme and will provide helpful tools, templates and examples based on early learning from the individual budget pilot and the work of in Control.


Notes to Editors:

1. The funding announced in this release is on top of the £750,000 which has been shared between 12 User-Led Organisations to help them become Action and Learning Sites from March 2008

2. User Led Organisations and The Personalisation Resource Toolkit are part of Putting People First, announced in December 2007 the cross government concordat, which sets out the shared aims and values, which will work across agendas with users and carers to transform people's experience of care and support services.

3. The Personalisation Programme is being developed and delivered with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, the Local Government Association and the Improvement and Development Agency.

4. The Personalisation Toolkit is available from and includes help to develop resource allocation systems for personal budgets, advice on the range of ways people can manage their budgets and different approaches to to support planning and brokerage. Over the next few months, a team from the Care Services Improvement Partnership will share the materials in regional workshops with those leading transformation in councils.

5. Putting People First is included in the cross-Government Independent Living Strategy published in March 2008. The Strategy is jointly owned by the Office for Disability Issues, the Department of Health, Department for Children, Schools and Families, Department for Transport, Department for Work and Pensions, Communities and Local Government, and Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. The Strategy is available at

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