In this section

Minutes of the Client User Group Meeting 26 November 2003

1. Welcome by Chair

The Chair welcomed everyone and opened the meeting.

2. Minutes of the last meeting

Some points were clarified from these minutes, namely:

  • The Professional User Guide will be distributed to Local Authorities and organisations that the ILF are involved or have contact with. It will be on our website and, if ready, copies will be brought to the next meeting.
  • The Disability Equality training is in the ILF training programme from April 2004.

3. Matters Arising

3.1 Introduction of new Client Liaison Officer

The new Client Liaison Officer was introduced to the group.

3.2 Change to VSW title

Due to a legislation change the term “Visiting Social Worker” is no longer allowable. Therefore VSWs will now be called “ILF Assessors”.

3.3 Recommendation for increased funding limits

The Quinquennial Review recommended that the Fund should review its maximum payments every two years. The Fund is committed to doing this and will be considering changes to the maximums in the New Year.

3.4 Award increases

Following the group’s discussion, it was explained that the Fund continues to explore the possibility of yearly inflationary rises to user awards although the practical difficulties involved may not make this viable. The Fund’s commitment to two-yearly visits represent a more proactive approach to reviewing payments, and users are always able to contact us if they require increased funding.

3.5 Enhancements

Following on from this was a discussion about whether the Fund could consider “enhancements” to reward long-serving personal assistants.

Action point: to ensure this goes into policy discussions about elements the Fund can consider paying for.

4. Newsletter

Feedback from the group was positive about content and presentation. Most found the content and style clear, concise, useful and easily readable. (Feedback from other users has been received which has also been favourable.) It was discussed that users should be able to subscribe to an email version if required. It was also agreed that headings should be bigger, contact information should be made clearer and that the use of text boxes should be avoided as they present difficulties for the visually impaired. Trevor explained that the intention is now to produce a newsletter twice a year.

5. Service User Guide

User Group members were invited to give their feedback on the ILF User Guide. Most people agreed that the guide was well presented, clearly and concisely written, although some felt the eligibility criteria could have been stated more clearly. It was noted that it will not be known how complete and how useful the guide is until one needs to use it to find information, but the overall response at this stage was positive.

5.1 Freedom of Information Act / Publication Scheme

The group agreed that Simon has produced an impressive and worthwhile document. Members found the contents and index very useful. Some points were made about the presentation of the document, in particular that guidance is for text to be left-justified, not fully justified, and that boxes should have greater spaces between them and there should be no underlining of text. It was mentioned that the information will be available electronically and that Simon is currently looking at ways to present this.

6. Website Content

The group were specifically asked for their suggestions for content on the User Group section. Ideas that were put forward are as follows:

  • A brief summary (rather than full minutes) of the most recent User Group meeting
  • Ways for other users (not from the User Group) to have an influence on agenda topics
  • Invites for users to attend meetings
  • Information on User Group changes
  • Background on User Group members

More general suggestions for the website were as follows:

  • Advising website users of different ways they can receive information
  • More interactivity (people able to ask questions via the website)

Action Point: Sort out up-to-date contact details. Start reviewing website content.

7. AOB

Issues for the next agenda were agreed as follows:

  • Look at the “hidden costs” involved in running a care package using personal assistants.
  • User Group members to bring in examples of timesheets.
  • Examples of posters to be brought in to help ILF develop poster advertising.
  • Thoughts on what should be included in our Customer Service Strategy.

The date for the next meeting was agreed as 28 January 2004 commencing at 11.30 am.

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