Fair access to care services (FACS): prioritising eligibility for care and support

Initial contact - First response: its importance for practice

Getting the initial response right can save time and costs on assessment later ... Councils should however be aware of the risks of screening people out of the assessment process before sufficient information is known about them ...

(‘Response to the first contact and assessment’, DH, 2010, paras 75/76)

Preethi’s story – importance of culturally appropriate advice and support

Preethi and her family live 50 miles away from her parents. Her mother has dementia and Preethi’s father wants her to come back home to care for her mother. He is opposed to anyone from outside the family caring for his wife. A friend suggests Preethi contact the local Carers’ Centre, where there is a Bangladeshi worker, who gives Preethi the confidence to ask for a carer’s assessment.

The quality of first contact for individuals and carers seeking support can have a major impact on their willingness to engage in the future. Systems for managing first contact differ from one local authority to another. Staff will need to understand the process used in their own authority. In many authorities, individuals and carers will make their first contact through a call centre or town-centre contact point, where trained staff, guided by their manager, will reach a decision about whether:

Staff involved in receiving referrals and making initial contact should do the following:


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  • Fair access to care services (FACS): prioritising eligibility for care and support