Launch of programme to utilise personal care budgets

Developing Empowering Resources in Communities (DERiC) and Big Society Capital (BSC), the social investment bank, today announced the launch of a programme to utilise personal care budgets which will improve existing service levels for people with social care needs through community engagement.

Despite the UK’s ageing population, the numbers of people getting essential support in their home has actually fallen in the past five years, leaving an estimated one million people without any help.

As a result, care services are there to respond to crisis rather than provide the support needed to prevent vulnerable individuals from reaching crisis point, which is a classic scenario for social ‘bridging’ investment.

DERiC will be providing expertise to, and investing in, community organisations specifically formed to deliver support to local people who receive personal budgets.

The help that people receive will be supplemented by Community Supporters, local people who wish to put something back into their communities.

People will be able to have greater choice about the support they receive, there will be more of it and it will release money for the community to invest as it sees fit. In practice, most communities will spend any money released on supporting less vulnerable people and preventing them needing statutory help.

A trial of the DERiC programme by Leeds City Council showed a dramatically increased contact time of 25%, which particularly improved social inclusion.

DERiC will invest a £1 million loan from Big Society Capital in seven different programmes: four in Leeds, one in Sandwell, one in Belfast and one in Medway, covering a total population of 200,000 people, 3,000 of whom will be eligible to receive statutory social support.

The aim of DERiC is to provide support for at least 60% of those within the next three years.

In addition to the 3,000 people who will be served by the programmes that DERiC invests in, a further 1,500 people who are not currently eligible will be supported in the identified communities, using the money that will be released.

640,000 elderly and disabled adults currently receive state-funded home care.

If the scheme was rolled out across the UK, the potential savings could reach more than £1 billion, whilst increasing the scale and quality of social care.

It is DERiC’s intention to raise further funds for investment in similar projects over the next 5 years.

Leeds City Council has been a pioneer of the programme, supporting the trial, and now leading the charge towards national scalability.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, said: “An increasing number of our service users here in Leeds have been telling us that they want to live as independently as they can in their own homes for as long as possible.

"A crucial part of us helping them to do that is giving them more choice and control over the care they receive as well as the support they need to manage their own care budgets.

"The DERiC programme is a great example how we’re finding innovative new ways of accomplishing that and the results of the initial trial were very positive.”

Nick O’Donohoe, CEO of Big Society Capital, added: “The elderly and vulnerable may not always receive the care they need due to a system under strain.

"Social investments are making it possible to raise the standard and depth of care for the vulnerable in our communities.

"We are determined to see more programmes like this across the country and will be working closely with Leeds City Council to ensure that all local authorities understand what can be achieved through accessing differing sources of funding.”

Ritchard Brazil, programme manager of DERiC, noted: “Engaging with the community has meant that vulnerable older people have become much more valued and local people who are Community Supporters – trained and supported volunteers – have been able to use their involvement to develop further their expertise and skills, which will be of real use to them in other settings or opportunities”

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