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The Ethics of Personal Health Budgets in Austerity


Back in September, Personal Health Budgets attracted some criticism from the British Medical Association and other medical quarters. I was discussing this with a colleague a couple of weeks ago, and we were trying to decide whether the criticism was fair. Click here for full story

Affordable Warmth


With support from Low Carbon West Oxford, Anne Cliverd has been working with people who may be at risk as a result of being unable to heat their homes. As the project passes the three year mark, we are hosting 2 meetings to talk about some of the issues with others who may be interested. Meetings will take place at West Oxford Community Centre on Tuesday 8th September and Thursday 1st October. Click here for further details.

Food for Thought & Dial-a-Ride

This September, we are hoping to give over some time at our Food for Thought meeting to talk about the County Council's proposals to end funding for the vital Dial-a-ride service. The meeting will take place on 2/9/2015 from 18:30 to 20:00 at West Oxford Community Centre, in the lovely Cafe. You can download the flier here. Click here to read more.

Proposals to End Funding for Dial-a-Ride


An Open Response from Community Glue


Oxfordshire County Council are currently consulting on proposals to save £6.1 million (about one fifth) of their supported transport services. They are planning to make most of the cuts to subsidised bus routes (either by withdrawing the subsidy altogether, or by reducing it). However, Dial-a-Ride is also in the cross-hairs. Click here to read more.

Direct Payments User Group Meets for First Time


We went to the first meeting of the Direct Payments User Group hosted by AgeUK on Wednesday. We were keen to support it, not only because we had tried (and failed) to get something similar going a few years ago, but also because the research we did for Healthwatch last year clearly highlighted the need for more 'peer support. Click here to read more

Help over Yule


Link to an updated list of resources for people who may be having suicidal thoughts or feelings over what is a difficult time of year for many people.

Social Enterprise and Micro-Enterprise


This short post comes from two simple ideas, and an idea about bringing them together. Micro-enterprises are small local enterprises that provide a range of social and health care, supported housing and leisure services. They are frequently run by and for people who use health and social care services. Social enterprises are defined as trading organisations working for a social purpose. Often they can be the same thing, but they are often not (click here to read more).

Recommendations for Personal Budgets

Recommendations for Personal Budgets

Today we presented the recommendation from our report Personal Budgets: Where Next in Oxfordshire? At the launch event we held at the end of March, we ran a workshop asking people about their priorities for what we should do next. Healthwatch, who funded the report, asked us to present a short summary of recommendations. Click here to read more.

Report on Personal Budgets Launched


On Saturday 29th March we launched or Report Personal Budgets: Where Next in Oxfordshire? This was the result of nearly four months of collaboration between ourselves and several other groups and organisations that had been involved with Personal Budgets locally and nationally.





Personal Budgets - Stakeholder Event


On 8th March 2014 we held a small informal event in West Oxford Community Centre to look at Personal Budgets, and how they've been working in the county. Since 2008 people receiving adult social care have been able to get a 'personal budget' to buy their own care, with some NHS patients gaining the same rights in 2011. In April of this year NHS patients in other groups will gain the same rights, and we wanted to find out what was happening locally before this change went ahead.



The Move to Personalisation - Community Glue's Experience


What We Liked About 'Personalisation'

Jon and I started Community Glue because we wanted to support initiatives that gave people more say in their social and health care. In previous jobs, we had been frustrated by an approach to commissioning services that often paid tokenistic attention to the views of service users, and led to inflexible support, low staff morale, and a risk-averse culture.

In 2008 Oxfordshire County Council had introduced 'self-directed support', under the ambitious banner of 'Transforming Adult Social Care'. The vision was that, with the help of a support broker, people could design their own support packages, and that this would in turn lead to them shaping services in ways which would meet their needs more effectively.

Having control of their own social care budget seemed to offer people genuine power over how their care was provided. We were optimistic about how this might improve people's experience of social care.

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