Headlines: April 2nd, 2008

People who have used care services or tried to get local authority finance for care are being offered the chance to have their say about the present funding system and the decision on who does and does not get help. The invitation has come from the Commission for Social Care Inspection, which is conducting a review at the request of the Care Services Minister, Ivan Lewis.

The minister asked for the review of the Fair Access to Care Services system after the CSCI published its ‘State of Social Care 2006-07’, which revealed that the majority of local councils helped only people with ‘substantial’ or ‘critical’ needs, which meant many people who needed help were left to fend for themselves or to rely on friends and family.

Dame Denise Platt, who chairs the CSCI said the starting point for the review, which has begun with the launch of an online survey, would be to consider the experiences of people who had been through the FACS process. “We very much want to hear from those people who use services as well as their carers, friends and families,” she said and added, “It is vital that we have a fair system that is transparent.”

The online survey, which will run until May 9th on the CSCI website at www.csci.gov.uk, is also looking for views from council representatives, care providers and voluntary and community organisations. Anyone with an interest in social care is also being invited to submit ideas to the Commission in writing. It has been asked to report back to the Government with its recommendations by mid-September.