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Commissioning for Choice and Control, the role of Micro-Enterprises

Wednesday 15th November 2023


IPC recently delivered a complimentary and exclusive workshop for Academic Partners. The focus was on commissioning for choice and control in adult services and considering the role and value of micro-enterprises.

As an Academic Partner, the members of the Association of Directors for Adult Social Care, South East Region, asked IPC to deliver a workshop focusing on a topic of interest to the region – micro-enterprises. IPC were thrilled to organise and host the event on behalf of a valued partner.

Through a mix of presentations and smaller group discussions, the purpose of the workshop was to explore:

  • current thinking and developments in the commissioning of innovative and effective community-based support,
  • and the impact that micro-enterprises make on people’s lives.

We heard powerful and thought-provoking presentations from colleagues across the South East region regarding their commissioning arrangements for:

  • choice
  • control
  • personalisation
  • and developing micro-enterprises.

We were also honoured to be joined by Rachel Mason, a mother and family carer of two sons, who championed the development and use of direct payments and micro-enterprises in Somerset. Rachel shared her experiences as a mother to find care and support that met her son’s wishes and outcomes, rather than focusing on their eligible care needs alone.

“I wanted to creatively use their budgets, not just to meet their needs, but achieve real life outcomes. The boys have been supported by and in their community to build a meaningful life and over time have reduced their long-term reliance on funded support”

We were also joined by Rhys Davies who shared Somerset Council’s 10-year journey of developing a micro-enterprise market. This included the approach, principles, impacts and outcomes. Rhys shared lessons learnt and advice for how areas might apply this way of working.

“You can only have control, if you have choice”

The workshop finished with participants completing an Action Learning Set using a real live issue on choice and control in adult social care. Action Learning Sets are a powerful method for individuals to learn from each other, and support self-development. The process involves using the knowledge and support of a peer group, combined with skilled questioning and listening to reflect, create new ideas and drive action.

Feedback from participants included:

“A really good mix of presentations and activities. The presentation from a person with lived experience was particularly powerful.”

“The sharing of experiences from different regions was particularly interesting”

If you would like to know more about how IPC can support your organisation to understand and develop the use of micro-provision or enterprises in social care, then please contact Fiona Richardson.

Plus, if you are interested in understanding more about the benefits of becoming an IPC Academic Partner, please contact Professor Katy Burch.

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