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December 2010



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First Published Tuesday, 16th September, 2008.

Social services

Have Your Say On The Reform Of Adult Social Services

The Government has called for as many people as possible to give them their views on what a new and more holistic care and support system should look like.

Care and support is the new term being used to describe both traditional social care services and a range of other services and financial assistance that help people to be “independent, active and healthy”.

It includes:

  • ‘traditional’ social services such as domiciliary care, meals on wheels, day care and care homes
  • some elements of housing support services for older people and disabled people; i.e. support funded through Supporting People, plus adaptations that help people get around their own home, such as hand rails (often funded through the Disabled Facilities Grant)
  • support for independent living, including the Independent Living Fund
  • benefits that help people with the extra costs of disability in later life.

The three big questions that the Government wants an answer to in this debate are:

1) What more do we need to do to make our vision of independence, choice and control for adults accessing social care a reality?

2) What should the balance of responsibility be between the individual, the family and the Government? The Government have found that some people are prepared to accept responsibility for contributing towards the costs of care and support. With an ageing population increasing the burden on the system, the Government wants to look at how best to allocate available funding.

3) Should the system be the same for all or should we consider varying the way we allocate state funding?

There are a number of key trade-offs underlying this third question:

  • Should there be one system for everyone, or different systems depending on the type of care and support need a person has? Should people with longer-term needs receive more support (those with a disability from a young age would have had less time to save money)
  • Which is more important: local flexibility (and therefore the potential for a postcode lottery) or national standards (which could mean that a particular need in one area is not met if it is not a national priority)?
  • What should the balance be between targeting government resources to those least able to pay, whilst having a system that supports those who plan and save?

To find out more and to submit your views, go to www.careandsupport.direct.gov.uk

The consultation closes on 28th November 2008.

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