People to have more control in choosing their care services

Published on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 12:34
Posted by Scott Buckler

People will see more choice in their local care and support services (Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb announced today) as local councils move a step closer to developing high quality local care markets that deliver the range of services people want and need

Currently, certain areas of the country are not benefiting from the range of quality services available elsewhere. Local councils have been working hard to meet the needs of their community, however more change is needed. The Developing Care Markets for Quality and Choice programme will improve choice, provide tailored care and focus care on the outcomes that matter to people.

Using local information, councils will support the development of care services which meet the needs of all local people, regardless of whether they are services funded by a council or directly by a local person.

Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb said:

"People deserve a high quality care service that meets their needs.  Everyone's needs are different. We can't have a one-size fits all approach. This new programme will increase choice in the care services provided to them.

"We want to improve the care services already in place by giving local authorities the skills to work together with their care providers and anticipate future priorities, pressures and challenges in order to tailor care for their communities."

The new programme aims to address key challenges currently in the care market:

Choice – as more people are given Personal Budgets it is important that they are able to choose from a range of quality service providers, and the way their services are delivered.Quality – Sometimes the way services have been provided has left people without the dignity and choice they should expect. We want to see care services that are high quality and are tailored to what people want.

In the draft Care and Support Bill councils will be given a legal responsibility to promote a range of high quality services that meet the needs of their communities.  The programme launched today will support local councils to build on their skills and information to understand their supply and demand for care services, and enable them to work with providers of care to develop a strategy for managing their own local care service markets.  By doing this, councils will be able to tailor care to their local people's needs and see how it will make an impact.

The Department of Health has been working with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and the Institute of Public Care to look at ways in which local councils can be supported to improve their communities' care markets and support development of all councils.

ADASS President Sarah Pickup said:

"ADASS welcomes this programme which has some unique and distinctive features that will support councils to understand and develop markets in order to enhance choice  and assure the quality of services for local people."

This programme of work is part of the wider effort on reforming social care to deliver high quality local services and give people the choice and services they should expect.

Source: ©DH

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