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The Peer Support Network is an independent initiative established by Project Art Works in 2015 to provide support for families who already manage, or are considering setting up provisions through personalized budgets or Personal Health Budgets or Direct Payments.

The network met for the third time at Project Art Works HQ on Wednesday 13th April. The meeting was attended by participants, familes, carers, support workers, social care professionals and commissioners from ESCC.

The morning session included:

An update on the progress towards creating a not-for-profit support worker agency. A steering group has been established and includes:

  • Kate Adams (Director, Project Art Works)
  • Steve Manwaring (Director, Hastings Voluntary Action)
  • Parent, currently running Direct Payment Provision
  • Dr Peter Baker, Clinical Psychologist
  • Two highly skilled support workers current supporting adults with complex needs

Funding is now being sourced to conduct a 12 month pilot project.

Richard Lewis, East Sussex Strategic Commissioner Learning Disability, presented the outcomes of the recent consultation on proposed savings to the Adult Social Care Budget.

You can see the full table of recommendations and results here and further information about the consultation here

Melissa Rowland, a shared-lives carer, introduced her role supporting 3 young men with ASD and the wider shared lives framework. Shared lives schemes are available across the country and are an alternative to traditional kinds of care, such as care homes. The schemes are sometimes also known as adult placement schemes.

You can find our more about the Shared Lives scheme via the NHS website here

In the final session before lunch forum members split into two discussion groups to explore key issues raised at the previous forum –

  • Accommodation: long & short term, flat for direct payment respite, current provision, what is the need?
  • Systems for running successful provisions: guidelines, timetables, risk assessments, good staff rota structures and communication

During the afternoon session, Richard Lewis outlined the five key areas of the Transforming Care Programme –

  • empowering individuals
  • right care, right place
  • workforce
  • regulation
  • data.

Richard’s full presentation is available here

Thank you to all who attended. Future Forums will run between 10.00am and 1.00pm and will be rolled out during 2016 to include parents and families of younger children and those in transition. If you would like to suggest topics or present at future meetings please contact us at [email protected]

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