Fair access to care services (FACS): prioritising eligibility for care and support
The future landscape of assessment and eligibility
This guide was written while the Care Bill 2013 was still being discussed in Parliament and the substance, numbers of clauses and the wording of the Bill may be subject to change during its passage through Parliament .The Bill also makes clear that much of the detail of its operation will be contained in regulations and guidance.
Extensive consultation prior to the publication of the Bill in 2013 showed that:
- On the whole, respondents were very supportive of the consolidation, clarification and modernisation of existing law and the increased emphasis on outcomes.
- There was an eagerness to see the regulations and guidance that will provide further detail on the provisions in the draft Bill, and suggestions were made about what they should cover.
- Stronger rights for carers to access support were particularly welcomed.
- Respondents were supportive of the principle of a national threshold for eligible needs. However, they wanted to see more detail about where the threshold would be set and how it would work.
- There was a strong desire to expand the duty to provide information and advice, to include more detailed requirements to help the person understand and make use of information, and to support the role of advocacy.
- Some felt that the provisions should go further in ensuring that the balance of decision-making lies with individuals rather than the local authority. In this way people would feel in control of their care and support in line with the wider personalisation agenda, and their ability to challenge decisions made about them will be clear.
- Some wanted to see a stronger focus on reducing or delaying the need for social care support through developing community-based support and universal services.
- There was a welcome for proposals for the continuity of care to enable disabled or older people to move between councils if necessary, although some felt they fell short of providing assurance that outcomes would be maintained after the move.
- Concerns were raised about the pressures on local authority budgets and the consequential impact on care and support. People also expressed disappointment that the draft Bill did not contain provision to implement the recommendations of the Dilnot Commission.
The draft Bill was subject to public consultation, and to scrutiny by a joint committee of MPs and members of the House of Lords,  who took evidence and reported with recommendations in March 2013. The Government’s response was published alongside the Care Bill in May 2013.