Perusing the Bill - One for the wonks

Alongside the Adult Social Care White Paper the government published the draft bill.

The ambition is large..

This draft Bill consolidates provisions from over a dozen different Acts into a single modern framework for care and support. It is intended to do more than bring those Acts together; it achieves a fundamental reform of the way the law works. It places the wellbeing, needs and goals of people at the centre of the legislation to create care and support which fits around the individual and works for them. It provides a new focus on preventing and reducing needs, and putting people in control of their care and support. For the first time, it brings carers into the heart of the law, on a par with those for whom they care.

Over the autumn there is a period of "pre-legislative scrutiny". This is an opportunity to comment on the Bill and help the government to improve it. There is even a chance to comment clause by clause online!

In Control and partners will be having a close look at the Bill - We are concerned to ensure that this once in a generation opportunity for new legislation is used to fully support the shift to an asset-based system which ensures maximum choice and control.

We will focus on two things in particular:

  1. In partnership with Community Catalysts, Shared Lives Plus and Inclusive Neighbourhoods, we urged the government to use the White Paper as an opportunity to redesign the social care system at the point of need so that we have a system based on a partnership with people, rather than a battle. This paper 'Redesigning the front end of social care' focuses on what happens when people first encounter social care and looks at people's assessments, eligibility and access to services. Here we recommend a very different "front door" into the system which includes replacing current community care assessment processes with an assessment or impact model which more robustly assesses risk and triggers access to support planning at an early stage. We will build on this paper looking at the Bill through this lens and offering advice to the government
  2. We are also critically concerned that the provisions in the Bill on personal budgets support what is most important about personal budgets - self-directed support. It is vital that the law doesn't just make sure people know what their support costs - it must support their ability to take charge of that support in the way that works for them. Delivery of personal budgets has brought benefits to many but too often we have seen business as usual with bureaucracy and rigidity in delivery. This may be partly dealt with within the legislation, partly in the regulations and guidance that will go alongside it but dealt with it must be if we are not to miss an historic opportunity

So - for you wonks out there we'd be really interested in your ideas - both for the legislation and for the regulation and guidance - what could go in there that would give serious traction to self-direction - thoughts most welcome!

Martin Routledge


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Last Updated : 01 August 2012. Page Author: Laura Bimpson.