Fair access to care services (FACS): prioritising eligibility for care and support
Review - Ongoing support
Councils should ensure that a person’s needs are considered over a period of time, rather than at a single point, so that the needs of people who have fluctuating and/or long-term conditions are properly taken into account.(‘Eligibility for social care’, DH, 2010, para 63)
Angela’s story – a couple requiring long-term support
Angela has dementia and is cared for by her partner Ben, who is her sole carer. They are desperate to stay together and have refused any outside help. Recently Angela has begun to scream when Ben is out of her sight. He cannot go out and apart from staff at the dementia clinic there is no one they trust. They have become isolated from friends and neighbours and have no family in the UK. The couple are assessed as needing on-going support for Angela to remain at home for as long as possible.
The ‘Eligibility for social care’ section in the 2010 Guidance ‘Prioritising need’ highlights the needs of people who have continuing, long-term or fluctuating needs. When assessing or reviewing the needs of these individuals and their carers, staff should:
- promote their involvement, and where appropriate that of their support networks, in the process, and report on and address any identified barriers
- ensure that the approach, including when working with other agencies, is person-focused and flexible, and takes account of medium- and long-term needs and their potential impact on the identification and achievement of agreed outcomes
- work within the council’s agreements with the NHS on joint assessment and continuing health care, and with agencies more widely on multi-agency working
- strive to ensure the individual and their family do not lose out as a result of inter-agency disputes
- be alert to new approaches to maximising independence and control offered through personal health budgets, learning from the common assessment framework (CAF), telecare and telehealth advances, extra-care housing and other initiatives
- identify and report any concerns about, or indications of, safeguarding issues
- ensure assessments reflect where appropriate the principles and framework of the MCA.