Integrated Care & Social Care

01.07.13

Lamb sets national eligibility criteria for social care

New national eligibility criteria will be introduced for care and support services to ensure local authorities do not cut care to manage reduced budgets, care minister Norman Lamb has announced.

Councils will be required to offer support for care above the threshold equivalent to ‘substantial’ care needs under the current system. The criteria have been published as draft regulations.

The Government is also introducing eligibility level for carers to protect their new rights to seek support.

Most councils (130) currently have a threshold for care at ‘substantial’, three provide social care to people in all three bands of need, 16 just to ‘moderate’ and above, with three councils providing social care just to those with ‘critical’ needs.

Lamb said: “We know people are often confused about what care they can expect from their local authority and far too many end up having to fight for the care that they need because the rules are so complicated.

“In my view, we need to be clear about the basic minimum entitlements to services so that everyone can be reassured there is some level of support they can expect, regardless of where they live.

“A national minimum is exactly that – a starting point for local councils to base their care provision on.

“We are also starting work on a new approach to eligibility - which aims to offer some help to families earlier on to help prevent a deterioration of condition – this summer.

Bringing in these changes will be one of the foundation stones for the most far reaching reform of social care in over 60 years.

“We want to make the system of care and support even better in the future and we will bring together a working group of users of services, carers, local authorities and academics will develop and test options for a possible new assessment framework.

The group will hold its first meeting later in the summer and will be looking at how the assessment framework can support independence and reduce dependency.”

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