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How can you make an informed choice and be in control of your life when you don’t understand what your choices are?

Let’s imagine you’re visiting a friend for dinner, and at the end of the meal, they get their box of ‘Celebrations’ out. (Apologies for the English chocolate reference if you are reading from a different part of the world where these are not available….Celebrations are a box of chocolates with a random selection of miniature varieties of chocolate bars).

The box is already open and it appears that there are only two options left- the ‘Bounty’ sweets and the ‘Milky Way’ sweets.

You really want some chocolate and neither of those brands would be your favourite. But because that’s all you have to choose from, you go with a ‘Milky Way’. Sound familiar?

Now imagine a different scenario where you visit your friend for dinner and they bring out a brand new unopened box- with all of the different varieties to choose from. Would you still choose the ‘Milky Way’?

I know I wouldn’t!! (It would either be a ‘Galaxy’ or a ‘Teasers’ sweet for me).

When one or two options are the only choice you’re given, that’s what you’ll choose from. You might not even think that you have a choice! Maybe you have been told that there isn’t a choice and you should be grateful for what you’re being offered!

What happens when you have the whole range of brands available? Would your choice be different? Probably!

It’s the same with choosing care and support options for planning, arranging and implementing Health, Social Care and Welfare support. Many people are only told about one or two options at the point of assessment. Some people aren’t told that they have a choice at all – they are simply told what they can have.

This simply isn’t right. The Care Act 2014 outlines the range of options available to a person who has been assessed as eligible for support.

So often, people aren’t made aware of their rights when accessing Care and Support.

So how do we help people to make informed choices?

Are you interested in finding out more?

Imagineer offers a range of training & mentoring services to support the knowledge and practice development of practitioners; and also to help people to know and understand their rights.

Visit our training pages which can be found under the menu heading ‘What We Do’ for further details; and subscribe to our mailing list to be kept up to date with what we’re doing.

Further reading:

To keep up to date with case law and to improve your legal literacy in the area of Health & Social Care law, visit:

Luke Clements website

Cascaidr Website

About us:

Trainer, Support Broker and Community Consultant Liz Leach-Murphy Founder of Imagineer Development CiC
Liz Leach Murphy

Liz Leach Murphy is the Founder of Imagineer Development UK CIC, Chair of the National Brokerage Network and a Freelance Consultant working on personalisation within the Health and Social Care sector/community space

Sarah Holmes

Sarah Holmes is a Freelance Consultant working on personalisation within the Health and Social Care sector/community space; and a Director of Imagineer Development UK CIC

Both Liz and Sarah are practitioners, trainers and coaches in Independent Support Brokerage and consultancy for Strengths-Based Approaches with collectively over 40 years of experience in the Health and Social care and community sectors.

Imagineer Development UK CIC is a social enterprise based in the North of England with a national reach; originally set up as a test bed for Independent Support Brokerage in the UK. Imagineer is the hosting organisation for the National Brokerage Network, which is a community of practice for Independent Support Brokers. Imagineer provides a range of training & consultancy services in Support Brokerage, Person-Centred and Strengths-Based Approaches.

Follow us on Twitter: @imagineercic

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ImagineerCiC

Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/imagineercic

Leaders and decision-makers within the health and social care sector generally grasp (and subscribe to) the concept of Personalisation and Self-Directed Support; but often feel ‘stuck’ in relation to the systems, structures and processes that they are required to work within.

Having a simple lens by which to review policy and practice could be a catalyst for real and lasting change.

Let’s explore this in a little more detail.

Independent Support Brokerage is an approach which strongly aligns with the theory of self-determination and was first developed by families of people with complex needs, called the Woodlands Parents’ Group in British Columbia, Canada in the 1970s.

When the person is in the driving seat of their own life, amazing things can happen; and solutions and opportunities can be discovered which were not even considered through the narrow lens of commissioned provider services and statutory provision from Health and Social Care. Elements of Support Brokerage exist in many different models and approaches, but authentic and truly Independent Support Brokerage is rooted in a wide range of Person-Centred Practice and Strengths-Based Approaches such as:

Some of the barriers and challenges presented by the current Health and Social Care system include:

Our experience as practitioners of Independent Support Brokerage has shown that many of these barriers and challenges can be overcome when the following conditions are present:

The mechanisms and legal structures enabling these conditions to be present already exist, and it is happening in small pockets around the UK. 

So why isn’t it happening everywhere? There is a growing groundswell of momentum towards the radical transformation of the welfare state. The Health and Social Care sector forms one part of the puzzle. There are many refrains of ‘Coproduction’, ‘Personalisation’, ‘Strengths-Based Approaches’ and ‘community development’ being sung by different groups wanting to see change.  If we gather our voices together collectively and sing as a choir; we could weave our harmonies together to create a symphony of citizenship, inclusion and equal rights for all. 

Do you want to join the chorus?

We are in the process of developing a set of quality standards which map across to other aligned quality standards and outcomes indicators for the health and social care sector. Visit our website: https://www.imagineer.org.uk/ to sign up for updates; and read our latest paper: ‘What does ‘good’ look like? to find out more.

About us

Liz Leach Murphy is the Founder of Imagineer Development UK CIC, Chair of the National Brokerage Network and a Freelance Consultant working on personalisation within the Health and Social Care sector/community space.

Sarah Holmes is a Freelance Consultant working on personalisation within the Health and Social Care sector/community space; and a Director of Imagineer Development UK CIC

Both Liz and Sarah are practitioners, trainers and coaches in Independent Support Brokerage and consultancy for Strengths-Based Approaches with collectively over 40 years of experience in the Health and Social care and community sectors.

Imagineer Development UK CIC is a social enterprise based in the North of England with a national reach; originally set up as a testbed for Independent Support Brokerage in the UK. Imagineer is the hosting organisation for the National Brokerage Network, which is a community of practice for Independent Support Brokers. Imagineer provides a range of training in Support Brokerage, Person-Centred and Strengths-Based Approaches.

Further reading: What does ‘good look like?: https://www.imagineer.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/What-does-good-look-like.pdf

Sign up to our mailing list to be kept updated on our work in developing quality standards for Person-Centred practice and Self-Direction: https://www.imagineer.org.uk/

Follow us on Twitter: @imagineercic

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ImagineerCiC

Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/imagineercic 

Imagineer Training and Mentoring

Graphic Facilitation Training

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Group mentoring and individual sessions can be provided for peer support with other independent brokers from around the UK.

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Support Brokerage Training

The course is designed as a full programme which will give you all of the information, understanding and practical tools you need to be able to practice as an Support Broker.

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