Acevo commission calls for mutualist approach to personalisation of public services

Report by National Commission on Personalisation says incentives should be given for people to pool their funds and purchase services together

Matthew Pike, chair, National Commission on Personalisation
Matthew Pike, chair, National Commission on Personalisation

The personalisation of public services will be ineffective unless the government adopts a "mutualist approach" to the policy, according to a report by the National Commission on Personalisation, which was set up by Acevo.

The report by the chief executives body, launched last night, says the government must encourage recipients of personal budgets to pool the funds, and must also urge charities and other organisations providing services to them to work together.

"Public agencies should remove barriers and provide support and incentives for people to band together wherever possible to address their needs on a mutual basis," it says.

The report also calls for a bottom-up model of quality assurance. "There is widespread concern among Acevo members that vulnerable users of public services who are less able to make informed choices could increasingly become victims to fraud or low-quality provision," it says.

"An unregulated free-for-all would make the revenue streams for providers very uncertain and result in both higher cost (due to the costs and risks of lower volume) and much higher numbers of organisations going bust."

Matthew Pike, chair of the National Commission on Personalisation, said: "We have reached a fork in the road. Ahead lies either merely a devolution of theoretical rights with a lack of practical underpinning, or an ambitious revolution of rights accompanied by new structures that make individuals’ lives better.

"This is a golden opportunity. We must not let it go to waste."

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