That document proposes this model in the context of the provision of care services but also acknowledges the advantages in extending it Good practice example – Essex Value Improvement Project Through its Value Improvement Project, Essex County Council is working towards integrated contracts covering the provision of care and support, including housing-related support for details, visit www.valsnsw.com.au. Whilst there are practical issues to resolve, this work is confirming that there are no inherent obstacles to configuring services in this way.
Rather, it demonstrates that this can be achieved effectively if there are the vision, will, and support for doing so and appropriate work is undertaken with providers to develop their capacity to provide integrated services. But it is already evident that there are significant benefits – both to the user and to the authority – to moving in this direction, and we would encourage authorities to explore this route more widely.
Independence, Well-being, and Choice describe work which is now underway to develop and pilot individual budgets, through which people will be able not only to choose which of the available services they would wish to use but also to potentially receive the support in the form of a direct cash payment. Independence, Well-being, and Choice1 highlight the importance of integrating care and health delivery and sets out the options available to local government and the NHS to achieve this.
Indeed, particularly where services are commissioned by a local authority, there seems little reason why they should be provided separately. But the role of Supporting People, and the opportunities to link provision of care and of housing-related support, is less clearly known at that level. Without this, there is an increased risk that a single incident may undo all the benefits of independence which have been established through care services, and may lead to hospitalization or to more costly institutional care. Through the reassurance that assistance can be easily summoned, it can also make a person feel more confident and through that contribute to falls prevention.