Social care pioneer Simon Duffy quits as head of In Control

Founding member and chief executive of the social care reform organisation has walked out after a boardroom clash.

Social care pioneer, Simon Duffy, has walked out on the organisation he founded to promote the use of personal budgets.

His sudden departure from In Control comes at a critical time, when personal budgets are about to be pilot-tested for the first time in the NHS, giving control of a cash pot to people with long-term conditions and allowing them to buy their own care.

Duffy, a notoriously forthright and independent character, is believed to have clashed with the board of In Control over issues of his accountability. He tendered his resignation with immediate effect.

In a statement, the board said: “Simon Duffy has been a valuable member of In Control and we are greatly indebted to him for his contribution since In Control’s initial formation in 2003.

“We acknowledge all the good work he has accomplished and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

The statement it added: “In Control’s leadership team remains strong and will maintain the effective day-to-day running of the organisation while new executive arrangements are put in place.”

Personal or individual budgets have been backed by ministers as a key means of giving choice and control to users of services and carers. More than 10,000 people in England now have a budget to buy their own social care and support.

In Control, a social enterprise, has devised and refined the budget model and is working with four in five English local authorities on implementing personalisation in line with the three-year Putting People First programme.

The personal budget model has been extended into children’s services and welfare-to-work programmes as well as healthcare. In Control has partnership arrangements with some 40 primary care trusts.

Duffy, a philosopher by training and dedicated to challenging all forms of institutionalism, was last year awarded the Albert medal by the RSA thinktank for his contribution to developing personalisation of public services.