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By Debbie le Quesne

Putting jargon into plain English

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Jargon – I hate it, but live with every day. It’s the thing that so often defines what we do.

So I was thrilled to see that the Social Care Institute for Excellence has produced the Jargon Buster www.thinklocalactpersonal.org.uk/_library/AIJargonBusterFINAL.pdf that puts 52 of the most commonly used phrases and words into plain English.

As one would hope the explanations are simple and thorough. I’ve picked out a few snippets to share in this blog. Here goes: Adult social care – Care and support for adults who need extra help to manage their lives and be independent; Advocacy  –­ Help to enable you to get the care and support you need that is independent of your local council; Broker (also called ‘care navigator’) – Someone whose job it is to provide you with advice and information about what services are available in your area, so that you can choose to purchase the care and support that best meets your needs; Commissioner ­– A person or organisation that plans the services that are needed by the people who live in the area the organisation covers, and ensures that services are available; Co-production – When you as an individual are involved as an equal partner in designing the support and services you receive.

And the list goes on: Personalisation – A way of thinking about care and support services that puts you at the centre of the process of working out what your needs are, choosing what support you need and having control over your life; Reablement – A way of helping you remain independent, by giving you the opportunity to relearn or regain some of the skills for daily living that may have been lost as a result of illness, accident or disability; Resource Allocation System – The system some councils use to decide how much money people get for their support; Self-directed support – An approach to social care that puts you at the centre of the support planning process, so that you can make choices about the services you receive.

And finally, the last of my examples: Signposting – Pointing people in the direction of information that they should find useful; Universal services – Services such as transport, leisure, health and education that should be available to everyone in a local area and are not dependent on assessment or eligibility; Wellbeing – Being in a position where you have good physical and mental health, control over your day-to-day life, good relationships, enough money, and the opportunity to take part in the activities that interest you.

The work has been commissioned by Think Local Act Personal and contributers include Age UK, Carers Trust, Department of Health, Independent Age, Local Government Association, National Coproduction Advisory Group, Royal College of General Practitioners, SCOPE and Voiceability.

My only concern about this nice piece is of work it will not get to the people who need it most. It’s online, but who would search for jargon busting for social care?

I’m sure though, we can all ‘signpost’ people to the relevant information . . .

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