The Independent Living Fund (ILF) is well underway with developing its plans to transfer support for ILF users into the mainstream care and support system.
The government announced in December that funding and responsibility for ILF users’ care and support would be passed to local authorities in England and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland from April 2015. In response to the announcement, the ILF has already written to inform its users and their representatives of the decision and commenced a wide programme of engagement to co-produce its plans with stakeholders.
Chief Executive of the ILF, James Sanderson, said:
We are pleased with the support we have had from the Minister for Disabled People and the department in progressing our plans for transferring ILF users’ care and support into the mainstream system.
Through a collaborative approach, we are developing a programme to ensure the most effective transfer as possible. We are part way through an intensive few months of meetings across the whole of the UK with the devolved administrations, local authorities and their associations, other stakeholders from the third sector, and most importantly ILF users to inform our plans.
The ILF held discussions with government officials in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland very early in the New Year. More recently they gathered together representatives from local authorities that support 22% of ILF users in England and will hold similar meetings in Cardiff and Edinburgh this week.
At a meeting in London last week led by Chair of the ILF Trustees, Stephen Jack, a delegation of ILF users, disabled people’s representatives and their organisations gave their views on the plans.
Alan Norton, Chief Executive of Assist UK said:
The transition of ILF support to local authorities needs to be handled with care. I welcomed the opportunity to discuss how this might be achieved and how a transfer programme could embed the positive benefits of the ILF scheme within local authorities to deliver true independence.
Throughout February and March the ILF will deliver a series of 18 meetings with local authorities across the whole of the UK to agree on the detail of any final agreed transfer process.
Following the conclusion of its programme of engagement in March the ILF will write to its users and representatives with comprehensive information about the transfer review programme. The ILF anticipates commencing the programme in April 2013 for completion prior to the organisation closing in April 2015. Until then, the ILF will continue to provide support and high quality service for ILF users and maintain on-going communication to keep them up to speed with progress.
If you would like to know more about the ILF’s discussions on its plans for transfer, or would like opportunity to comment on the plans, please email LAteam@ilf.gsi.gov.uk or phone 0115 945 0700.