One size fits all is cheaper and easier… but we all want choice

One of my favourite local pubs has closed down and I’m pretty upset about it. I LIKED that pub…

… but to be honest, I didn’t actually go there very often.

Choice comes at a price. It has to be accompanied by active support and money otherwise too often it never materialises or quickly disappears in favour of “easier” options – and then we are sorry.

In a previous blog I mentioned the Stony Stratford protest against council plans to close the local library as part of budget cuts. Within the space of a week, in response to a Facebook campaign, local residents emptied the shelves withdrawing their maximum allowance of items – 16,000 books withdrawn in just over a week. But how many of these residents used the library normally?

Places that are used regularly and fully tend to stay open. Places that are only thought of affectionately but never really supported tend to close, especially in the current climate. Local shops, post offices, libraries. Yes, the out of town ones may be cheaper and parking easier, but we pay a heavy price if we always go for convenience.

Similarly, it seems to me that often time has to be invested to reap longer-term benefits. The personalisation agenda in health and social care requires time and creativity to work with individuals. Time invested up-front to find out what people’s aspirations are and support them to achieve their outcomes in a way that is imaginative and affordable and enables them to contribute fully to society.

Do we have time? Everything is now rushing along. People are living longer but with less and less money available if they need support. Doom and gloom fills the headlines as we hear of demographic timebombs and people (us) working until we are 101. Under pressure, one size fits all can seem easier and cheaper…

Resist! We’ll be sorry if we try and cut corners rather than giving this exciting agenda the time, effort and resources that it deserves. Personalisation is not rocket science – it is “what you would want for yourself” and we can all understand this basic human need of self-determination. We all deserve choice and a decent quality of life. Personalisation must be given the chance to deliver not only short-term but longer-term benefits for this and future generations. For us, in fact.

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About Gill Phillips - Whose Shoes?

Passionate about personalisation in health & social care. Creator of Whose Shoes? - an imaginative approach to helping people work together to improve lives. http://nutshellcomms.co.uk
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