As part of our regular blog updates, this week we look at what Leeds City Council are doing to achieve greater personalisation across many areas of Adult Social Care. Today, we find out more from Fiona Martin about what the Peer support and personalisation project is working to achieve in Mental Health Services.
Fiona, can you tell us more about the Peer Support and Personalisation Project your team is working on?
We are very excited to be working with service users and colleagues to really take forward personalisation across Mental Health Services where the uptake of personal budgets has been recognised nationally to be much lower than other areas of Social Care.
The project is an integrated partnership between ‘Health’- Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust (LYPFT) and Adult Social Care and is underpinned by the principles of Recovery and Personalisation.
The project is made up of Social Workers, Peer Support Workers, a Business Change Manager, a Development Manager and Project Lead.
The project aim is to increase the number of people in receipt of recovery focussed support, with the use of personal budgets and peer support.
What do you mean by ‘personalisation’ and ‘recovery’?
Recovery is about people having the best possible mental health, but also about people staying in control of their life despite experiencing a mental health problem. It is also based on the belief that it is possible for someone to regain a meaningful life, despite serious mental illness.
Personalisation enables people to find the right solutions for them and to have choice and control over the support they receive, becoming actively involved in shaping and participating in their support.
Personalisation and recovery both put the individual at the heart of support planning, making sure people are central to identifying what they want to achieve and what will help them to recover.
They recognise the importance of people being a part of their community and being treated as valued citizens with a contribution to make.
Everyone has strengths, skills and assets, supporting people to build on these helps people in their recovery. It really is about working together to find out what will work for an individual and making sure people have choice and control over their life.
You mentioned personal budgets earlier, what do you mean by this?
Following an assessment, a personal budget is the funding allocated by Adult Social Care (ASC) to an individual to meet their eligible social care needs. This can be provided in a number of ways including; as a “Direct Payment” (a cash payment to a service user to pay for identified support) or as a “Local Authority Managed Budget” which is where Adult Social Care will work with the individual to arrange their support.
You also mentioned Peer Support Workers. Can you explain further who they are?
Peer Support Workers are people who have experienced mental health issues and who are employed to use that experience for the benefit of another person experiencing mental health issues, through offering practical and emotional support. On this project the Peers Support Workers will be working together with service users and mental health colleagues to promote recovery.
Why are you so supportive of personalisation in mental health?
We know that recovery focussed support, personal budgets and peer support can make a real difference to people’s lives, in terms of their recovery and “getting their lives back on track”
Here are some of the things that people have told us about their experience of recovery focussed support through a Personal budget;
- Choosing the support they needed helped them to focus on their recovery.
- Being able to make a choice about the support and making sure it was right for them helped them to build confidence.
- As they were really involved in setting their own goals they were able to start to achieve every-day things that most people take for granted.
- Being in control of their support helped them to take things at a pace they were comfortable with.
- The support they received helped them to feel stronger and gave them hope for the future.
It’s hugely positive and can be life changing. That’s why we’re so supportive because it really does help people have a better life.
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