independence and should be a priority, health secretary Frank Dobson said.
Speaking at a national conference on 'Promoting Independence:
preventative strategies and support for adults' in London, Mr Dobson
services that people need.
'Co-operation across organisational boundaries is central to this
government's approach to health and social care,' he said, 'The
promotion of independent living in the community can only succeed if
the various services are in place and working as one.
'It is no longer acceptable for people in need to be inadequately
supported because there are gaps or misunderstandings between
By identifying the people who would benefit most from early help, and
by offering flexible and imaginative support across services, a
crisis can be averted and the need for much greater support and
dependence can be prevented, said Mr Dobson.
As announced in the White Paper Modernising Social Services, the
government is putting£100m towards putting these ideas into
practice. Guidance was issued last month on how local authorities
should make use of this new, three year, promoting independence
grant. This advises local authorities to help people maintain their
- encouraging self-reliance and self-determination for adults in need
- promoting choice and dignity;
- reducing the risk of accidents and injuries at home;
- reducing social isolation;
- offering training in mobility or daily living skills;
- helping those of working age with social care needs to remain in
work as long as possible.
Local authorities are required to develop a strategy to prevent
dependence developing and by the end of October must provide a
written plan, agreed with the relevant health authorities and other
services. They must consult with users and carers, frontline staff
and other relevant bodies, always remembering that volunteers and the
voluntary sector have a central role to play in the success of
The promoting independence grant, totalling£100m over
three years, was announced in the White Paper Modernising Social
Services. The distribution of the grant was set out in the
16 March Local Authority Circular (99) 13. The guidance was issued
on 5 May as LAC (99) 14.