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Personalising a Block Contract

This useful report describes the progress made in Barnsley to personalise a block contract with the mental health service provider Together.

The process has been successful and there are some interesting lessons which indicate that self-directed support could be advanced in mental health services and that service providers could have a much more positive role - as partners with people in community.

One key lesson was that individualising money - on its own - does not improve life experiences. It is only when people are able to really explore, in planning or in practice, how they could do things better, focusing on what a good life means for them:

There was a clear distinction between the outcomes and approaches used by some staff in comparison to others, and this in turn had a direct impact on the quality of plans being produced. It also had an impact on the quality of the experience for service users.

For example, Tom has benefited by using an Individual Service Fund - not a direct payment. This means he can have a more flexible and equal relationship with his service provider. It has also allowed him to grow in independence and live more safely:

The ability for him to negotiate with Together and the nature of the more flexible support has meant that if any changes or tweaks to the support are needed, then Tom is able to vocalise and manage that effectively. The AOT team have been able to take a step back from responsibility for all areas of his support, and this has started to shift to the provider and the support package in a way that means Tom can start to take more ownership of his support and work on the areas he would like to take full responsibility for at some point in the future.

It is useful to compare this model with a similar approach, but one which used a different system for allocating resources, which is described here.

If you would like more information about this report please contact Wendy Lowder or Michelle Kaye at Barnsley.

The publisher is Barnsley MB Council and Together.

Personalising a Block Contract © Liz Wands-Murray and Justine Pearce 2012.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.