National survey of Personal Budget holders and carers 2013

In Control, along with Lancaster University and 22 local authorities has been evaluating the use of personal budgets and the outcomes for people for several years. Survey tools, known as POET have been in continuous development. The latest survey of people with personal budgets and carers has produced reports for Newcastle, and on a national level. In Newcastle 90 personal budget holders and 50 carers responded to the POET survey. The key findings from the Newcastle report include:
 
•    In Newcastle 82% of personals budget holder said their views very much or mostly included in the support plans
•    Significantly fewer people had held a personal budget for over three years than comparators
•    A majority of personal budget holders in Newcastle reported that the council had made things easy for them in seven of the nine aspects of the personal budget process asked about: getting advice and support; assessing needs; understanding restrictions, control of money, planning and managing support, getting the support wanted; in making views known; and making a complaint.
•    In none of the nine areas were personal budget holders in Newcastle less likely than people elsewhere to report that the council made the process easy.
•    At least 60% of personal budget holders in Newcastle reported that their personal budget had made a positive difference to them in six of the 14 outcome areas we asked about: dignity in support; mental wellbeing; getting the support you need; staying independent; physical health; and control of important things in life.
•    A majority of people reported that the personal budget had had a positive impact on their lives in three further areas. However in the areas of getting a paid job and being part of the community, less than 12% reported a positive impact.
•    80% of carers felt that their views were taken into account in support plans; higher than comparators
•    A lot more carers use Direct Payments in Newcastle
•    Fewer carers reported that Self-Directed Support made it easier to care in Newcastle compared to the national findings, but not as many reported Self-Directed Support had made it harder
•    Generally, carers for older people found Self-Directed Support had less of a positive impact.
•    There is a need to make sure that eligible people’s views are being taken into account – Newcastle performs less well than comparators.

The national report finds on-going frustration across the country around the bureaucracy around implementing personalisation, the complex paperwork, and understanding restrictions. Making changes to support across the country is the area people are least likely to report as easy.

For the national reports visit
www.thinklocalactpersonal.org.uk/Latest/Resource/?cid=9503

Chaos or Empowerment?

 The impact of personalisation on the North East’s voluntary mental health sector and those who depend on it

Chaos or Empowerment: the impact of personalisation on the North East’s mental health voluntary sector and those who depend on it is the final report on work carried out by Steven Nash for the four year Mental Health North East (MHNE) Personalisation project. The project’s title, Chaos or Empowerment reflects the scale of innovation and uncertainly that continues to be associated with implementing personalisation. The report’s key points included
•    implementation is slower for older people and those with mental health problems
•    there are significant cultural barriers for mental health professionals around NHS personal health budgets
•    in the north east only 15% of the people eligible for a social care personal budget received one
•    positive examples of self directed support in mental health are few and far between
•    many mental health VCS providers spend a lot of time and energy offering informal advice and support in relation to a personal budget
•    the current toxic mix of economic recession, government public sector cuts, and reduction in welfare benefits is negatively affecting the personalisation agenda especially in the north east.

The report is available on www.mhne.co.uk

Chaos or Empowerment?

 The impact of personalisation on the North East’s voluntary mental health sector and those who depend on it

Chaos or Empowerment: the impact of personalisation on the North East’s mental health voluntary sector and those who depend on it is the final report on work carried out by Steven Nash for the four year Mental Health North East (MHNE) Personalisation project. The project’s title, Chaos or Empowerment reflects the scale of innovation and uncertainly that continues to be associated with implementing personalisation. The report’s key points included
•    implementation is slower for older people and those with mental health problems
•    there are significant cultural barriers for mental health professionals around NHS personal health budgets
•    in the north east only 15% of the people eligible for a social care personal budget received one
•    positive examples of self directed support in mental health are few and far between
•    many mental health VCS providers spend a lot of time and energy offering informal advice and support in relation to a personal budget
•    the current toxic mix of economic recession, government public sector cuts, and reduction in welfare benefits is negatively affecting the personalisation agenda especially in the north east.

The report is available on www.mhne.co.uk

Over 400 people use foodbank vouchers in west end

422 people were referred with food vouchers to the Newcastle West Food Bank in Newcastle from March to early June. Of the 422 people, 241 were aged 16 to 64, one was over 65, and 180 were their children. Reasons for the crisis and referral included the gap between claiming benefits and receiving payment, benefit changes, low income, and homelessness.

Newcastle CVS will produce a report on foodbank use in the near future. The information leaflet Foodbanks in Newcastle and the report on foodbanks, Food for Thought, is on Newcastle CVS website. Visit
www.cvsnewcastle.org.uk/representinginfluencing/poverty-and-inequality-in-newcastle/information-and-resources

The Wellbeing for Life Strategy

A voluntary sector discussion was held in May on the draft Wellbeing for Life Strategy (Newcastle's statutory Health and Wellbeing Strategy). Newcastle CVS made a response on behalf of the sector. There was general agreement with the tone and direction of the strategy; the need for leadership was emphasised; commissioning, the Living Wage and evidencing the outcomes of the Wellbeing for Life Board were addressed; and in relation to the commitments that organisations are asked to sign up to, Newcastle CVS proposed a form of words that encompassed the potential of the VCS to contribute but that took account of the complications that the sector faces.

The response is on Newcastle CVS website, visit

www.cvsnewcastle.org.uk/representinginfluencing/consultations

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