I'm very proud of the proposal announced in the press telease below - it's part of a number of actions Reading's Labour council will be taking to ensure a fair deal for both users of services and those who provide them. I believe you can't have one without the other.
The intention is to boost quality and dignity for the users of Supported Living services, as well as value for money - particularly important for those uaing personal budgets. At the same time ensuring living wage, fair terms amd conditions amd appropriate training for the workers who provide the support.
However there will be things that people have questions about or detsils thst need tweaking so I hope people will respond to the consultation to ensure the maximum benefits are achieved:
Plans to Boost Quality for Users of Supported Living and Ensure Living Wage for Workers
Reading Borough Council Press Release
Reading social care users are being asked for their views on Supported Living providers in a consultation launched this week. The Council plans to use its buying power to improve quality for users and to ensure fairness for the workforce.
Supported Living services are an excellent option for people with disabilities who want to live in their own home, but who need help with managing household tasks, budgeting, personal care and other aspects of living independently like maintaining a tenancy and building links with friends, family and the community. Users have a Personal Budget for their care package. People can tell the Council which services to buy on their behalf, or take their Personal Budget as a Direct Payment so that they can buy their own services.
Supported living aims to give people choice, independence and ensure their community connections can be maintained. However unlike some other services, at present Reading has no list of approved, quality assured providers for users to choose from.
The Council will create a list of 12 approved providers – the Supported Living Accreditation Select List (SLASL) – to help people choose the best provider for them.
There would always be specialist providers available for those that needed them, but by having a smaller number of quality providers working with most users the Council will be better able work with them to ensure a fair deal for users. Because of the increased business it will also be able to ensure that they provide fair terms and conditions for their workforce, including a living wage and appropriate training.
The draft criteria for choosing the suppliers were drawn up with input from users about what was important for them. Now the Council wants ensure that users, carers and providers views are all understood and that the proposals will maximise the benefit, by holding a series of meetings, an online survey and postal survey .
Everyone who receives Supported Living services will continue to have regular personal reviews, and be fully involved in any decisions based on their individual circumstances.
Lead Member for Adult Social Care, Rachel Eden, said:
“In the face of continuing Central Government cuts, the Council is determined to remain ambitious about quality services. We can only get a fair deal for service users if we are fair to those who provide their care.
“When the Council works with a smaller group of providers, quality standards can be improved more quickly. This accreditation list will be good for service users who will be able to choose a quality, value for money supplier, particularly important as more users move to personal budgets. It will also be good for the workers who provide the service as to be accredited providers will be required to pay a living wage and use decent terms and conditions.”
Current social care users who have a managed Personal Budget or who receive Direct Payments will receive a personally addressed invitation in the post to take part in the consultation. It is also available online at http://www.reading.gov.uk/supportedliving.
They can complete the questionnaire themselves, involve a relative, or chose another advocate to assist them. Family members are also being invited to join the discussion. Service users who need help in completing the survey can get support from Healthwatch Reading. The consultation closes on 14th March 2014.
Notes for Editors:
There will be a series of meetings to discuss the SLASL consultation. at:
The Carers Steering Group
Wednesday 26th February
2.00pm – 4.00pm at the Civic Centre, Reading RG1 7AE
The Learning Disability Carers Forum
Tuesday 4th March
11.00am – 12.30pm at the Civic Centre, Reading RG1 7AE
A Talkback ‘Matters’ session (for people with a learning disability)
Tuesday 4th March
10.30am – 12.00pm at the Emmanuel Methodist Church, 448 Oxford Road, Reading, RG30 1EE
Reading Borough Council Press Releases can be found online at http://www.reading.gov.uk/news/pressreleases/
Media Contact: Oscar Mortali
Tel: 0118 937 2301