What do Personalisation and ISFs mean in practice?

There are many definitions and explanations, but fundamentally, personalisation means making sure that people are at the centre of all decisions about their lives, and have as much choice and control as possible.


This means services supporting people to choose where they live, who they live with (if anyone), how people make a living or contribute, how they spend their time, where they go, who they see and who supports them – all the choices that most of us have and often take for granted. In practice, this means that we need to understand what matters to each person and exactly how they want to be supported. Like for all of us, this involves getting a balance between what is important to a person and being healthy and safe. This film explains a bit more about this.

We start with where people are, and with what people appreciate about the person. We then work out together what is going well, what needs to change and where they want to be in the future.

This means that personalisation starts with a one-page profile. This is a summary of what people appreciate about the person, what is important to them and what good support means to them – on one page. Here is an animate that explains what a one-page profile is, and a website giving 100 examples of how they can work for people.

Having a one-page profile is just a start; we need to regularly discover what is working and not working for people, and a person-centred review is a way to do this. A person-centred review simply replaces existing statutory reviews, with the same people, but with a fresh, person-centred process that leads to outcomes and actions. Here is an animate that explains what a person-centred review is in more detail. To support people to have the maximum amount of choice and control in their lives, we need to know what they want to make choices about (what matters to them), and how to support them to make and communicate decisions. The person-centred thinking tools that can help here are communication charts and decision making agreements.

People also need to know what they can make decisions with – what their resources are – and this is where personal budgets and Individual Service Funds (ISF) are important. To read more about personal budgets, go to the TLAP website. An ISF is one way that people can have control over their budget, and it is held by a provider on their behalf. An ISF begins with an allocation of resources, such as money or time, and then developing a support plan. There are different ways to develop support plans. The person-centred review process is one way to get started, while some organisations use Planning Live.

Once the person has decided how they want to spend their allocation, as described in their support plan, then you can look at what this means in practice and what a ‘perfect week’ would look like. The provider’s task is then to deliver this perfect week, within the resources, to enable the person to choose who they want to support them and to put this in a personalised rota. This short film describes how one provider moved towards ISFs for Anne-Marie.


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