Fulfilling potential ecdp response (march 2012) - 3. the role of dpulos final


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Fulfilling potential ecdp response (march 2012) - 3. the role of dpulos final

  1. 1. Fulfilling Potentialecdp response, March 2012Part 3/4: The role of DPULOsThis document forms part three of four of ecdp’s response to the Office for Disability IssuesFulfilling Potential discussion. This section looks specifically at the role Disabled People’s User-Led Organisations can play in achieving the type of society disabled people would like theDisability Strategy to create.All four parts of the report are available on the ecdp website: www.ecdp.co.uk.For further information on any element of these documents, please contact Rich Watts (Directorof Policy & Development, ecdp) on rwatts@ecdp.co.uk or 01245 392 324.SECTION 3: THE ROLE OF DPULOsQ11. Do you have any suggestions for how we should implement andmonitor the Strategy once it is developed? [DP]ULOs should be at the forefront in establishing the strategy – Survey respondent Disabled people need to be included in every step of the process, using [DP]ULOs to advise and work with those implementing it – Survey respondent Through [disabled people’s] user led organisations who can feed back information to local or central government. Information should be given to disabled people if required regarding the strategy so they are fully informed of what this would mean to them – Survey respondentThroughout our response so far, we have highlighted issues and solutions from individualdisabled people themselves.In the preamble and throughout this document, we have highlighted that Disabled People’s User-Led Organisations (like ecdp) have a role to play in achieving the enabling state and type ofsociety for disabled people we have discussed. This is something that our participants andrespondents also feel should happen, too.In this section we therefore set out what we think the role of DPULOs is.DPULOs: the voice-business approachBefore focusing on the role DPULOs can play in achieving the Disability Strategy, it is worthhighlighting what is unique about DPULOs.There is one distinct feature of DPULOs in the work they do: they operate on both the demandside (i.e. providing the individual and collective ‘voice’ of and for the lived experiences of disabledpeople, carers and people who use support services) and the supply side (i.e. providing services).Fulfilling Potential – ecdp response, March 2012 Page 1 of 6Part 3/4 : The role of DPULOs
  2. 2. The long history of DPULOs means they are familiar with operating on the demand side, their work drawing on campaigning-type activities for which they are often set up. However, the need for sustainability and financial robustness, as well as various policy drivers, places them in a unique position of being able to consider undertaking more ‘business-like’ activities (e.g. providing support services under contract) alongside this voice-based activity. The diagram presents the typical journey a DPULO may take in seeking to find the balance between these + dual roles. Campaigning In practice, and in areas where they exist, the need to establish both demand- and supply-side activities and existing arrangements within a locality gives rise to a number of potential operating and delivery models forVoice DPULOs – a variety that is to be welcomed. In the shift towards levelling the playing field for different types of public service provision – see, for example, the focus on mutuals and social enterprises – we strongly feel that DPULOs should equally Contracts only benefit from such moves, and can be ‘a part of the 0 - Business + mix’ in the public service economy. What is the value added by User-Led Organisations? The value added by DPULOs includes, though is not limited to, the following: • DPULOs provide the ‘voice’ of disabled people. Though this can focus on service provision, it also includes input to equality schemes, access and involvement groups and other less formal forums • DPULOs can and do work across more than one policy area – they are more easily able to ‘join up the dots’ on the ground, responding to the needs of an individual rather than a care- and-support or housing recipient. This can particularly be seen in their central involvement in the current Right to Control Trailblazers • Where services are delivered by DPULOs, they are typically shaped and delivered by service users, meaning they provide a peer-to-peer approach which calls upon direct personal experience • DPULOs are more nimble than statutory agencies – they are informed by the ‘what works’ dynamic and can adjust quicker in response to changing circumstances • To find solutions to individual or collective issues, DPULOs are able to pool creativity, knowledge and experience. This equates to using the ‘lived experience’ of disabled people for the benefit of their peers. As such, the following outcomes can be offered uniquely by DPULOs, above and beyond any other organisations: • DPULOs have legitimacy, both with users and service commissioners • DPULOs offer pathways for service users to realise their social capital, be it formally or informally, and therefore contribute to their local communities • DPULOs operate from a values base which encompasses the social model of disability and the principles of independent living. The role of DPULOs Fulfilling Potential – ecdp response, March 2012 Page 2 of 6 Part 3/4 : The role of DPULOs
  3. 3. There are a number of practical roles – through services, project and functions – that DPULOscan play across both business and voice. These types of practical roles are outlined (notexhaustively) below and can be funded in a variety of ways, including public funding (contracts,service level agreements, public body grant funding), grant and charitable funding, and self-generated income.The work that DPULOs can do includes:• Representing the voice of disabled people locally through: o Capturing, aggregating and representing the voice of local disabled people o Working in partnership and coproduction with commissioners and other stakeholders o Providing the infrastructure for the involvement of disabled people in decision making• Providing a wide range of information, advice and guidance on a number of topics/issues in a variety of different ways and formats• Supporting disabled people through assessment or self-assessment processes for a range of public services for which there are eligibility criteria (such as social care or welfare support)• Providing independent support planning for individuals who need to match their entitlement and assessed “needs” to the outcomes they wish to achieve. This includes: o Explaining how support planning works and what its benefits are o Enabling and empowering someone to take control of their own support plan o Providing support where it is asked for o Supporting the individual involved to ensure their support plan will be accepted by the approving body• Brokering services that individuals need to deliver their agreed support plan, through: o Providing information and advice about different providers o Liaising with providers on behalf of the individual, if this is what they choose o Putting in place all arrangements for services to start• Providing support services to people managing Personal Budgets / Direct Payments, including: o Payroll and money management services o Employment advice for those people who choose to employ their own staff, and all this entails (e.g. recruitment, management, training etc.) o Training for individuals to enable them to confidently exercise choice and control through their Personal Budget / Direct Payment• Supporting people in the review of their support, either through self-review or through supporting them in any statutory body’s review process• Providing opportunities either directly or indirectly for disabled people to use their lived experience, for example through volunteering or providing peer support• Providing advocacy, through representing individuals and ensuring their voice is heard and understood• Facilitating peer support between disabled people, enabling people to share: o Their lived experience for the benefits of others o Tips and tricks of what does and doesn’t work o What it felt like to go through a particular process or system o The opportunity to build further social networks and become part of the fabric of community life• Providing services to public, private and voluntary organisations, including: o Equality training o Access audits o Administrative support o Support in enacting the Public Sector Duty.Fulfilling Potential – ecdp response, March 2012 Page 3 of 6Part 3/4 : The role of DPULOs
  4. 4. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it gives a sense of the scale of the types of workDPULOs can be involved in, on both the influencing (“voice”) and delivery (“business”) sides ofthe public service economy and economy at large.It is worth making the further point that, though much of these types of activities can currently befound delivered by DPULOs in a social care setting, we strongly believe that DPULOs canundertake each of these activities in each of a wide range of public services. In this document,participants have highlighted the need for DPULOs to be fundamentally involved in areas suchas:• Employment (particularly Access to Work)• Disability hate crime (and the criminal justice system more widely)• Health (especially Personal Health Budgets)• Integration of health and social care• Children’s services• Welfare reform• Volunteering and community development.Enabling the contribution DPULOs can make: addressing commissioningecdp welcomes the Government’s Strengthening DPULOs Programme and the practical andfinancial support it can offer to DPULOs. More than this, it provides a platform for the work ofDPULOs and demonstrates the Government’s ongoing commitment to the role of DPULOs.Beyond this, there are some key structural factors that act as barriers to DPULOs themselves infulfilling the potential role they can play. The most significant of these is commissioning.There are a number of key facilitators that are under the control of commissioners to positivelyshape and create such a level playing field for DPULOs at both a strategic (commissioning-based) level and a more practical (procurement-based) one. Some of these are outlined below.CommissioningCommissioners can develop and implement policies that:• Stimulate the participation of public service users by encouraging the development of local groups and promoting the use of voluntary sector infrastructure resources to include and benefit service user groups• Work in dynamic partnership with individuals, communities and their representatives – such as DPULOs – to define, develop and deliver high quality services• Foster a level playing field for user-led and carer’s organisations to compete in any tendering process• Look to commission from local providers• Look to commission from voluntary sector providers• Recognise the added value that DPULOs can offer• Recognise the wider role of DPULOs when carrying out their duty to promote disabled people’s equality especially in drawing up and implementing local equality plans• Ensure support enables Independent Living and embodies the ethos of choice, control and for all people to participate as equal citizens in society• Ensure that local contracting procedures do not discriminate unfairly against small / new / DPULOs• Offer Contracts, not Service Level Agreements, in order to give potential DPULO providers flexibility over service deliveryFulfilling Potential – ecdp response, March 2012 Page 4 of 6Part 3/4 : The role of DPULOs
  5. 5. • Offer 3- or 5-year funding arrangements, rather than year on year, to support service improvement and provider stability. Article 19 and reserving contracts Article 19 regulations of the Procurement Directive 2004/18/EC form a part of European legislation that allows organisations to reserve public contracts for supported businesses, meaning it is permitted to invite only supported businesses to bid for the work. A supported business employs disabled people as over 50% of its workforce. For contracts under £144k, it is therefore allowable to simply invite a supported business – such as a local DPULO – to bid for a contract or offer them the chance to match the best price. Awareness of Article 19 is very low. Provision of information about it – and how it can be used – would be a very useful addition to the implementation of the Disability Strategy.ProcurementThere are a number of practical things procurement teams can do to ensure procurementprocesses do not adversely impact DPULOs. These are as follows:• Ensure DPULOs are given adequate time to respond to tenders• Consider using a restricted or selective tender list, or a ‘single source’ approach to target organisations controlled by users (particularly in cases of extending existing arrangements)• Ensure DPULOs are specifically made aware of potential services particularly noted under the areas they typically work in (i.e. Information and advice, Advocacy and peer support, Support in using Direct Payments (e.g. Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG), payroll, brokerage, support planning, Disability equality training, Support for the implementation of the Disability Equality Duty)• Ensure organisations who have not bid for contracts before are particularly aware of new opportunities• Ensure procurement portals are accessible• Ensure tender documents are accessible and proportionate to the contract in question• Ensure that the value for money components of the specification take account of the added value often contributed by local organisations representing potentially eligible users. This should particularly be the case in tender marking scheme (where such components of ‘added value’ typically form only 5% of judging criteria)• Recognise framework arrangements so that large and smaller organisations can submit joint tenders. Larger organisations may be able to bring economies of scale to the contract while smaller organisations may be better placed to provide specialist services.• Observe good practice during the application process through ensuring: o Each tender pack contains an evaluation and a complaints form o That tender packs are available in a range of accessible formats o Guidance documents are provided that cover equal opportunities, partnership working and how to complete the application form o All materials relating to a specific tender process are in one place and easy to access o Monitoring systems are in place to record the number of smaller organisations bidding for and securing contracts.To support the development of an inclusive commissioning approach as set out above,commissioners should be encouraged to consider the following to shape their commissioningpolicy:• Commissioning training from local organisations for commissioners themselvesFulfilling Potential – ecdp response, March 2012 Page 5 of 6Part 3/4 : The role of DPULOs
  6. 6. • Employing or engaging commissioning experts from the voluntary sector or local SMEs to provide specialist advice and feedback on relevant strategies• Mainstream equality and access issues through the commissioning cycle• Work with DPULOs to decide how best to commission local support services. Whatever model is developed, the involvement of service users and carers in the design and delivery of services is of vital importance and will encourage better quality support services.Fulfilling Potential – ecdp response, March 2012 Page 6 of 6Part 3/4 : The role of DPULOs