Jamie Miller, CEO of Headway Oxfordshire, is concerned that personalisation could compromise care for patients who are unable to make informed decisions. Currently, HWO are fighting to sustain services after our funding from Oxfordshire County Council ended last year. Mr. Miller feels and fears that social care, nationwide, is neglecting those afflicted with complex cognitive issues; he said “The personalisation system itself is not fit for purpose when applied to neurological conditions. Some people lack insight into their condition or have limited ability to plan, even the smallest of daily tasks like dressing themselves or cooking become a daily battle”.
The Government rolled out personal budgets this time two years ago, making it a rule that adults entitled to social care could choose and plan their own care. He further adds, “Many people have no idea they even have a condition, they have no awareness of self to realise anything is wrong. You’re saying ‘choose and control your own care’ to someone who sometimes doesn’t understand or have the ability to make informed decisions.” And to add this responsibility and pressure to vulnerable adults is unfair. These ‘personal budgets’ are means-assessed and may require service users to pay for part of their care with us, which has also necessitated us to introduce contracts to ensure users can cover costs. This has forced us to completely change our relationship with service users, now making us responsible for chasing payments. Our CEO comments, “These are people with profound disabilities who survive on benefits. Often these people are told they are on such a level of benefits that they have to contribute to their own care. These barriers stop them getting what they need – I personally find that offensive.”
But he would like to stress his hope with the new Directorship of Adult Social Care that there will be arising opportunities for open dialogue and partnership working between the two organisations that can go forward. Headway Oxfordshire want to be ‘a part of the solution’ and would continue to promote positive relationships with authorities.
We want to help those who are affected by life changing brain injuries adapt to life; we cannot achieve this to the fullest with these kind of hurdles in our way. Please see below a link to The Oxford Mail’s article on what our CEO has to say about this issue.
See also Jamie Miller’s interview with That’s Oxfordshire TV on needed changes to the Social Care system.