Fair access to care services (FACS): prioritising eligibility for care and support
Review - FACS and transitions from children’s to adult services
Successful transition depends on early and effective planning, putting the young person at the centre of the process to help them prepare for transfer to adult services.(‘Transitions’, DH, 2010, para 138)
Gordon’s story, part 2 – changing needs and transition planning
Gordon’s care plan had been effective, but as a young person his needs are changing. Beginning transition planning at this point will provide him and his parents with the security of knowing there is a pathway through to adulthood and that children’s services and adult services are working together to ensure a smooth transition to adult services.
The ‘Transitions’ section of the 2010 DH Guidance ‘Prioritising need’ identifies the action needed to ensure effective transitions. Staff should:
- put the young person at the centre of the transition process, and promote their involvement and that of their family at all stages
- implement agreements between children’s and adult services, and joint multi-agency arrangements for effective transitions
- work closely with NHS colleagues and services to ensure the young person’s developmental, health care and social care needs are met in a well-coordinated fashion
- ensure planning begins early and at the agreed points prior to the date of transition, and takes account of the impact on parents or carers of any changes in the young person’s support
- support the young person and their family to identify and access the support available from universal and other services
- help the young person and their family to make best use of personal budgets, including direct payments, to shape a package of care and support tailored to their individual circumstances, needs, aspirations and preferences
- take account of the person’s and family’s medium- and long-term needs, and recognise that transition arrangements may need to continue over a period of years
- remember that the Mental Capacity Act applies to people aged 16 and above – so young people aged 16 and 17 can benefit from the provisions of the Act.
The Care Bill requires that, as young disabled people approach the age of 18, assessments should consider whether their needs for care and support will continue after that age, and whether they are likely to meet the eligibility criteria. The assessment examines the outcomes they wish to achieve, whether provision of care and support will be beneficial, and whether the outcomes could be achieved in other ways. The young disabled person, if they have special needs, may also have an education, health and care plan (EHC plan) as proposed under the Children and Families Bill, which can extend children’s services support up to the age of 25. The relationship between the provisions of the two Bills remains to be clarified.
There are also issues about the transition of parent carers (whose support is covered by Section 17 of the Children Act 1989) into adult carers under the Care Bill, under which they are more fully protected).