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Obtaining Social Care in England for service users and carers: guidance and advice

Discussion in 'Work, Finances and Disability Insurance' started by Simbindi, Feb 24, 2019.

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  1. Simbindi

    Simbindi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I have read various posts referring to the difficulties involved in obtaining appropriate social care but cannot see a specific thread for advice and links to the relevant legislation and appropriate guidance on this issue.

    The legal rights and thresholds to social care varies by location, so this thread is specific to England, UK.

    The right to social care for both the person in need and their carer is now covered by the Care Act England (2014), which comes with statutory guidance. The intentions behind this legislation were good and should have significantly reduced the 'postcode lottery' for social care that preceded it. Unfortunately the change was enacted in a period of increasing, long-term austerity, which in contrast to the intent of the Act has led to many people either having their existing social care packages reduced or in them losing their entitlement to care entirely.

    Social care is assessed and provided by individual local authorities, meaning it is very difficult to find guidance on how to maximise your chances of getting the care you actually need. For this reason, I feel a dedicated thread may help many people on this forum.

    Over the last few years I have learnt a fair amount about these issues from qualified and experienced peers in the autistic self-advocacy community, so will personally try to add information to this thread as and when I am able (much of which is on my old computer, so please bear with me). Obviously, if anyone else has contributions, advice, tips or questions on this topic please do post them here.

    Under the Care Act (2014) both the individual with a need for care and their (unpaid) carer are entitled to have an appropriate needs assessment. A carer is entitled to have the needs they have to continue in their caring role met. Many carers are still unaware of this legal right. Unpaid carers are not required to have a financial assessment or to contribute financially to their own support.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
    ukxmrv, alktipping, MEMarge and 4 others like this.
  2. Simbindi

    Simbindi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The most useful site I have found is the professional site for social care education, SCIE. Here you can learn a lot of the stuff your council would prefer you not to know!

    You need to register with the site to download files, but they are free.
    The link to get started with is:

    https://www.scie.org.uk/care-act-2014/
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  3. Simbindi

    Simbindi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Under the Care Act (2014) individuals with a defined 'substantial need' are entitled to have advocacy support for their assessment. Many people with moderate to severe ME would meet this threshold if they have significant cognitive and memory problems or difficulty expressing/articulating/understanding their needs.

    The link to further information and eligibility criteria can be found at the link below:

    https://www.scie.org.uk/care-act-20...cacy/duties/independent-advocacy-care-act.asp
     
  4. Simbindi

    Simbindi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Under the Care Act (2014) a person is entitled to carry out a 'Supported Self-Assessment'. This may be a much better option for ensuring your needs are accurately documented and evidenced. Many councils (including my own - Somerset County Council) will not inform you of your right to do this and try their best to stop you succeeding in exercising this legal right (yes, it is all about the money...).

    Quote (Key messages on supported self-assessment - from SCIE website):

    1. The assessment process is one of the most important elements of the care and support system. It starts when local authorities begin to collect information about the person. There are a number of different ways of conducting an assessment – supported self-assessment is one of these.
    2. Supported self-assessment is an assessment led by the individual and supported by the local authority. It should use the same materials as in any other assessment, both to ensure transparency and that the same information is gathered.
    3. Local authorities must offer supported self-assessment as a form of assessment if the adult or carer is willing, able and has the capacity to undertake such assessment. If the person does not wish, or is unable, to self-assess, then an assessment must be undertaken using another assessment method (e.g. face-to-face).
    4. The objective is to place the individual in control of the assessment process and enable them to lead as fully in the process as they wish to.
    5. Local authorities are responsible for providing relevant information before, during and after the assessment takes place.
    6. Local authorities must ensure that identified needs and desired outcomes are accurately captured in the supported self-assessment process.
    7. When the supported self-assessment is complete, the local authority must assure itself that the assessment is a complete and accurate reflection of the individual’s needs.

    See link below for further details:

    https://www.scie.org.uk/care-act-2014/assessment-and-eligibility/supported-self-assessment/
     
  5. Simbindi

    Simbindi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    There is currently no legal right to appeal the council's final decision, although you can make a complaint to the council and then the ombudsman if you believe they have made errors in the assessment and judging your support needs. This is why it is so important to ensure a comprehensive and fully documented assessment of needs:

    https://www.lgo.org.uk/make-a-compl...ct-community-care-assessments-post-april-2015

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publi...tsheets#factsheet-13-appeals-policy-proposals
     
  6. Simbindi

    Simbindi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    If you are eligible for social care, you should be actively involved in producing a personalised 'Care Plan' (again, you can draft this yourself initially, but it will need to be agreed with the social worker). I think I will start a new thread specifically for 'person centred' care planning resources, as much of this information could be of use to people outside England or the UK more broadly.

    However, here is the link to a (lengthy) PDF file that specifically looks at care planning in relation to the Care Act (2014):

    https://www.thinklocalactpersonal.org.uk/_assets/Resources/SDS/TLAPCareSupportPlanning.pdf
     
  7. Suffolkres

    Suffolkres Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  8. Suffolkres

    Suffolkres Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I delivered a Case Study to the APPG 'Barriers to Social Care' and gave a lecture to Social Worker Students at University of Suffolk in 2016.
    I had hoped this would have been useful as 'grey evidence' for NICE!
    I could post both if anyone was interested? ( case Study and Power point etc)

    I did this talk/lecture as part of the Ethics and Values part of the course.

    Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. 6 Aug 2014

    Global Definition of Social Work | International Federation of Social ...ifsw.org/policies/definition-of-social-work/

    British Association of Social Workers 3 The Code of Ethics for Social Work, Statement of Principles

    Introduction – Scope and objectives................................... 4
    1. Background .................................................................... 5
    1.1 Ethics in social work .............................................5

    1.2 The international definition of social work............ 6
    2. Values and ethical principles .......................................... 8
    2.1 Human rights ....................................................... 8

    2.2 Social justice........................................................ 9

    2.3 Professional integrity .........................................

    3. Ethical practice principles .............................................
     
  9. Simbindi

    Simbindi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  10. Simbindi

    Simbindi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Annamaria and ladycatlover like this.

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