How many times have you heard ‘we have consulted with disabled people and disabled peoples’ organisations’ from Maria Miller and now Esther McVey? How many times have you asked yourself who these people and organisations are? DPAC may have found one of the ways this is done. It does seem to be a bit ‘all smoke and mirrors’.
An advisory group has been set up to discuss a thing called the personal assistance (P.A) framework, but no one has heard of it. A call this afternoon from someone interested in joining the advisory group and giving their expertise drew a strange response as the team at the end of the phone apparently had absolutely no idea what the person was talking about.
DPAC feels that with the potential challenges to close the independent living Fund (ILF) as many people should be on this advisory group as possible, but how can they be if the people arranging this appear to know nothing about it?
It does exist according to the Skills for Care web site. The advisory group is about feeding into a P.A. Framework that sees disabled peoples’ organisations, the job centre, and disabled people working together. This has been in operation since last year and was, apparently, promoted widely in October 2012. All the P.A. users we spoke to knew nothing about it.
We at DPAC have decided to help, even without any of that Government funding stuff, just from the goodness of our hearts, and to start getting people onto the mysterious advisory group. We think if enough people call the partnership might actually decide that they’d better set an advisory group up or at least become aware that there is supposed to be one.
So we reproduce how this advisory group is supposed to be accessed for you: give them a ring, drop them a line- don’t let another meaningless statement be uttered by a minister for disabled people….well, you know what we mean…..
How to be involved in developing the framework
Skills for Care is the lead delivery partner for this work and is now beginning to start the implementation and realisation of the framework. The steering group is committed to achieving this through strong co-operation from within the sector. Therefore, we would like to welcome volunteers to be part of the “sector advisory group” which will have many roles including informing, directing and advising on how the work should be taken forward.
If you are interested in learning more and/or registering your interest in being part of the sector advisory group please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0113 241 1275. There are no limitations on who can be involved and individuals or organisations will be able to determine what aspects they would be willing to get involved in as the group evolves. So if you have a view or any interest in this work, please get in touch as we would very much welcome your thoughts, opinions and involvement.
The blurb around the framework itself claims
About the framework
The Government is committed to personalising social care services and is determined that all those eligible for support will have the opportunity to receive a personal budget by 2013. The employment of personal assistants (PAs) is a critical part of this transformation. To achieve this, a major shift towards supporting PAs, and those who employ them is required.
In order to do this, a framework for supporting personal assistants working in adult social care has been developed. The framework sets out a strategy to enable support for the PA workforce and their employers. It is a starting point for further work. It does not, and cannot, give all the answers, but it does bring together many of the issues in one place for the first time. There are challenges to developing PAs as employees, for their employers, and to promoting personal assistance as a career. This strategy addresses these challenges and presents good practice examples that show how these issues are being managed effectively in different parts of the country, while recognising that actions will be needed locally and must be affordable within existing resources.
The framework has three broad aims:
- to support future growth of the PA workforce and their employers;
- to address challenges to the development of PA working; and
- to share best practice examples of personalised care provision by PAs and of support for employers.
The link for more info on the framework is http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/paframework/
The organisations involved
The framework has been co-produced by the Department of Health (DH) with national partner organisations, people who use services and their PAs. These include Skills for Care, ADASS, UNISON, the National Centre for Independent Living, user-led organisations, local authorities and the Transforming Adult Social Care Co-Production Group, as well as regional services users groups and individual PAs and PA employers.