Benson Wintere assisted in supporting specific areas of a regional JIP, comprising around 15 local authorities who required assistance around implementation, review and refinement of their Resource Allocation Systems (“RAS”).
This support was delivered over 2 years and related to authorities at various levels of advancement with RAS and self directed support programmes.
Specific areas Benson Wintere was brought in to assist with included:
Self Assessment Questionnaires (“SAQ’s”)
Some authorities were still assessing the format/content of their SAQ’s. Assistance was required to provide feedback and resources from other local authorities, and assist with developing electronic resources to assist in collating data during testing and pilot phases.
Help was required to develop appropriate scoring frameworks to provide indicative need scores in accordance with local requirements. This also involved discussions around adjusting indicative scores to account for factors such as informal care and user group inflators.
Help to develop an appropriate structure and process for determination of financial allocations in accordance with the local requirements, and including:
• Defining equitable resource allocation, i.e. relationship between levels of need and resource distribution. Curved (exponential) vs. straight line approach
• Bespoke and implement available tools including the Resource Allocation Tool (“RAT”), to provide calibrated, systematic, sustainable allocations
• Provide guidance on overall considerations including universal approach vs. individual care group allocation, contingencies, inclusion / exclusion of groups or subgroups
Providing financial analysis assistance as required. Advise the authorities what type of information we require to perform analysis. Assistance with analysis of current costing data and comparison with new RAS. Assistance with any other forms of financial analysis required to provide stakeholders with insight into the potential outcomes and implications of potential new RAS approaches.
Testing / Roll-out
Assist to develop an appropriate testing process, including choice of who to involve in the test group and requirements of those involved. Help in evaluating submissions and collecting feedback. Improving the system prior to rolling out to a pilot group.
Group based assistance would be used to support common issues being encountered in the transition/programme development, and giving representatives a chance to provide feedback and share good/bad experiences to the group. Areas focussed on might include common issues expressed during the local visits. Benson Wintere was asked to contribute to workshops involving topics covered above.
This support was delivered using a variety of medians due to geographic considerations and to maximise support time available. Direct assistance was performed either in the form of local visits or remote assistance to provide advice and assistance to local authorities.
To ensure the sessions were as productive as possible, Benson Wintere ensured local authorities understood the objectives, process and deliverables from each area of assistance. This included sending out resources and information in advance, and requesting necessary data from the local authorities. To ensure shared learning we encouraged as many staff as possible to be present for our visits. A workshop approach was employed to encourage sharing of ideas, challenging the needs for change and encouraging collective ownership of new processes.
Workshops were held over half a day sessions and the local authorities were encouraged to prepare using appropriate material circulated in advance, to ensure the sessions were as beneficial as possible.
Updates were provided to the central JIP committee to advise of progress being made with each local authority, issues arising, and considerations for the rest of the programme.
Our contribution to the project helped several local authorities to implement new and improved approaches to their Resource Allocation Systems, to allow them to establish a local solution to the new requirements of self directed support. During this support several positive relationships have developed with local authorities which have continued to the present.
The JIP committee were pleased with the progress of the overall programme which saw the programme extended at agreed review dates. The success in this programme was followed by other regional JIP projects Benson Wintere have been involved in and played similar roles to that outlined above.