Four 21-year-old female tenants who have moderate to severe learning disabilities share a 5-bedroomed house, supported by care staff. The four were selected because of their complementary skills; one is good at organisation, another at housework, a third at cooking and another at remembering activities and routines.
This is one example where the importance of individual commissioning, incorporating the personalisation agenda (to have the same choice, control and freedom as other people at home) and the strategic planning of aggregated services have come together. The care manager of this project says:
"There's all this buzz about individually commissioned services and bespoke services - well, this is a bespoke service, we know that it works, and it's cheap. We try to get best value for money but above all it's the clients' own choice." Community Care (31st January 2008) People with learning disabilities live together.
Good service require excellent planning, for example: appropriate assessments focusing on outcomes must be done; funding streams must be researched and accessed; the balance of staff skills must be just right; suitable provider organisations must be identified, etc. All of these steps in the commissioning planning process will be needed, whether the service to be commissioned is for a single person tenancy with self directed support or for four people sharing a home, incorporating the use of assistive technology to ensure a safe environment and maximum independence.
These references and links to resources in the “7-Step Outcomes Pathway” are intended as a supplement to, not a substitute for, professional skills of staff commissioning services. Those using this JIT website are advised to review the supporting evidence and consider fully all the implications of a recommendation made for commissioning a service.
The list of references and resources is not comprehensive and you are encouraged to research and review other sources of information also.