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Critically appraisal of the Personalisation Policy in social work of any local authority in the UK - Essay Example

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Giving the service user autonomy to decide what best suites their needs and how to go about finding solutions to their problems is what…
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Critically appraisal of the Personalisation Policy in social work of any local authority in the UK
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Personalisation of services for people with mental problems in England al affiliation Personalisation of services for people with mental problems in England
The personalisation of social services offered to adults with disability has been on the rise in Majority local governments within the UK. Giving the service user autonomy to decide what best suites their needs and how to go about finding solutions to their problems is what characterizes personalization (Needham 2011, pp.138). In addition, the personalisation approach focuses on the strengths, capacities, and aspirations of the service user, as opposed to focusing on the needs, weaknesses, and deficiencies of the user. According to Gould (2010 pp. 109) service users need to be involved in the process of designing and producing solutions to their problems. Personalisation of services for the disabled has also enabled service users to receive direct payments in lieu of services. Personalisation also involves independent living, whereby the person with disability is allowed to control their daily activities and the use of equipment. However, reports show that adults with ill mental health have not enjoyed the personalisation of services as much as their counterparts who have other forms of disability.
England is one of the local governments within the UK that has had problems implementing the personalisation approach in delivering services to people with mental problems. According to Gardner (2011 pp. 62) a report in 2005 showed that majority of social service providers in England did not give direct payments to mentally ill people. Glasby & Littlechild (2009 pp. 59) attribute this occurrence to professional attitudes among the service providers. For example, taking up of individual budgets for people with mental problems becomes an issue because the professionals do not believe that these service users have the capacity to handle the finances. In order to counter this perception, service users are advised to make prior provisions incase of predictable mental health fluctuations in future.
Glasby &Littlechild (2009) also concur with the reports that many people with ill mental health in England are locked out of personalised services. One of the primary reasons for this occurrence is that many users, care providers, and staff are ignorant about the existence of such services as direct payments. Many of these stakeholders do not have access to information regarding which types of personalised services are available for people with mental problems. According to Gould (2010 pp. 58) there is also the problem of determining the eligibility of a service user as well as differentiating between health care and social care budgets. Most of the direct payments are meant to be used for clinical purposes, thus leaving out the social needs of the mentally ill person. However, individual budgets seem to respond to this hindrance by informing users how much money they can access for support and allowing them to use this money for whatever purpose (Glasby & Littlechild 2009, pp. 87). Still, the number of people with mental problems gaining access to individual budgets is still way much lower than that of people with other forms of disability.
Nonetheless, for the few mentally ill people who do actually receive personalised services such as individual budgets, the outcomes are usually very positive (Gardner 2011, pp. 66). This is because the individual budget allows the individual to get access to a wider range of services outside the clinical domain. The National Institute for Mental Health England (NIMHE) has ensured the personalisation of services to people with mental problems. According to Gardner (2011 pp. 60-67) the number of mentally ill people who received personalised services had risen to 6 per cent between 2008 and 2009, a far cry form the statistics in 2004 of between one to five people.
Gardner, A. 2011. Personalisation in Social Work. Exeter: Learning Matters Ltd.
Glasby, J., & Littlechild, R. 2009. Direct Payments and Personal Budgets: Putting Personalisation into Practice. Bristol: The Policy Press.
Gould, N. 2010. Mental Health Social Work in Context. Oxon: Routledge.
Needham, C. 2011. Personalizing Public Services: Understanding the Personalisation Narrative. Bristol: The Policy Press. Read More
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