Today sees the launch of the Right to Control Trailblazers. This is the culmination of a long countdown to this programme, led by the Office of Disability Issues. I have been involved in the advisory group for the Right to Control for the last 18 months, chaired by Baroness Jane Campbell and have participated and debated the development of this important new approach with great interest. In addition to this involvement. Sitra has also provided kickstart support to authorities engaged in taking this forward.
The Right to Control is described as ‘a radical shake-up of the way disabled people use state funding’ and is of great interest to both providers and commissioners of housing related support because of the inclusion of Supporting People funding within the funding streams which disabled people can now use to combine money. I think that is will push forward much of the thinking around how personalisation can be implemented in the sector, and provide a platform for the development of personalised approaches to commissioning and services.
There are five different authorities involved in today’s launch – and they are:
- Essex County Council
- Leicester City Council
- London Borough of Barnet
- London Borough of Newham
- Surrey County Council (Part involvement – Epsom and Ewell, and Reigate and Banstead).
All eyes will be on these authorities as disabled people within their boundaries are provided with this new entitlement to bring together their funding and receive in the form of a direct payment, if they wish.
The funding streams involved are: Access to Work, Work Choice, Independent Living Fund, Non statutory housing related support (also known as Supporting People) and Disabled Facilities Grant. In addition Adult Community Care has been aligned.
Day 1 of this challenging approach is a day for celebration – recognising the seismic shifts taken by all involved in this co-produced agenda. The following days and weeks will be the test bed of how fundamental the impact of this change is for disabled people. Will the Right to Control finally shift our thinking and practice away from seeing individuals being at the ‘receiving end’ of services to really taking control and being in the ‘driving seat’?
If you are part of one of the trailblazing authorities – as a disabled person taking up the Right to Control, an authority implementing or a provider offering services within this framework – then would be keen to hear your views as to how it is progressing.