Headlines: August 18th, 2006



An exploration will start shortly on the feasibility of people with long-term health and social care needs deciding what support they require and applying directly for services they need. The eleven projects will involve people assessing what equipment, home care, standard housing adaptations and low-level preventative services they require. The pilotsĀ  will include groups in the community whose needs can be difficult to meet, including minority ethnic groups, carers and people living in rural areas.

A key element of the pilots will be giving people access to the information that will allow them to make the best decisions about how their needs can be met. Much of this information will be provided through the Internet. Third sector organizations will be available to help them in their research and in some cases this might extend to helping them to fill in an on line form. It is expected that orders will be placed directly without any intervention from social services.

Announcing the pilots Ivan Lewis, Care Services Minister, said: “In our joint health and social care white paper we promised to put people in control of their care and deliver services closer to home. These pilots will help us do just that. Self assessment has the potential to give patients and service users much greater control over their care and faster, easier access to services. This is central to our vision for the future of health and social care.”