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NEW PILOTS TO EXPLORE SELF-ASSESSMENT FOR PEOPLE WITH LONG-TERM NEEDS

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People with long term health and social care needs will be able to assess their own support needs and apply directl...
People with long term health and social care needs will be able to assess their own support needs and apply directly for services to help them, thanks to 11 new pilots announced by care services minister Ivan Lewis today.

The ground-breaking new projects will explore the scope for enabling people to self assess their need for support from a range of services, such as equipment, home care, standard housing adaptations and low-level preventative services.

This could, for example, involve using the internet, or approaching a third sector organisation for help with filling in an online form.

The outcome of an assessment could be receiving reliable information about equipment and services, or result in them receiving a piece of equipment directly, rather than being assessed by social services.

Mr Lewis said: 'In our joint health and social care white paper we promised to put people in control of their care and deliver services closer to home. These pilots will help us do just that - which is why I'm delighted to announce they will receive£850,000 of funding.

'Self assessment has the potential to give patients and service users much greater control over their care and faster, easier access to services. This is central to our vision for the future of health and social care.'

Precise arrangements vary, but local partnerships will be led by social services departments and include joint working with a range of partners, such as primary care trusts, other local government departments and voluntary sector organisations.

The successful councils are:

- Barnet LBC

- Birmingham City Council

- Bristol City Council

- Croydon LBC

- Derby City Council

- East Riding of Yorkshire Council

- Hammersmith and Fulham LBC

- Kingston Upon Hull City Council

- Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames

- Nottinghamshire CC

- St Helens MBC

Some pilots involve a focus on people arranging their own care, as well as those in receipt of formal health and social care. There is also a focus, in a number of pilots, on groups in the community whose needs can be difficult to meet, including minority ethnic groups, carers and people living in rural areas.

In all cases, self-assessment will be introduced as an additional point of access for local services, rather than a replacement for traditional ways of accessing services.

The pilots will launch in October 2006 and run until 30 September 2007.

Notes

- The purpose of the pilots will be to determine if self-assessment is feasible and to identify the risks and benefits of self-assessment. An independent evaluation will be commissioned to underpin the pilots.

- There was strong support for exploring the scope for self-assessment following the consultation on the 'Independence, Wellbeing and Choice' social care green paper.

- In the White Paper 'Our health, our care, our say' the Department of Health committed to introduce a new common assessment framework, which would include enabling people to self-assess where possible.

- The pilots were selected by a selection panel which included representation from the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Association of Directors of Social Services.

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