Headlines: January 28th, 2009

Many people are not getting the social care services that meet their needs fully according to a report from the Commission for Social Care Inspection. It also claims that in many areas services are not meeting the transformation vision that was set out by the Department of Health.

The CSCI says a year on from the publication of ‘Putting People First’ there have been steady improvements but most people still experience ‘one-size-fits-all’ care that is not geared towards individual needs. Too few people with complex needs, the CSCI says, are getting personalised care.

Dame Denise Platt, the CSCI Chair, said, “People who need social care should be seen as individuals, first and foremost. The support they receive should be tailor-made, allowing people to live their lives as they choose. If we get it right for people with complex needs, it is likely that we’ll get it right for everyone.”

She said the Government’s ambition to transform services was commendable but there was still a long way to go to put the policy into practice. Some councils and care providers were doing excellent work but others had been reluctant to make personalised care a reality for the people they served. “Many people do not get the information, advice or support they need to help them make informed choices about their care,” she said.

The report found there had been considerable improvement in the overall performance of councils and in regulated care services and there had been tentative steps towards addressing the personalisation agenda. More people were now able to control and choose their support and there had been some outstanding examples of people’s lives being radically improved. It found, however, that councils were at an early stage and developments were patchy. The CSCI also believes there are continuing concerns about people who are ‘lost to the system’ because they are ineligible for publicly funded support.