Today we publish a new paper urging the government to use the
forthcoming White Paper as an opportunity to redesign the social
care system at the point of need. We urgently need a system which
is based on a partnership with people, rather than a battle.
The paper, 'Redesigning the front end of social care' has been
published by In Control in partnership with Community Catalysts,
Shared Lives Plus and Inclusive Neighbourhoods.
Focusing on what happens when people first encounter social
care, the paper looks at people's experiences of assessments,
discussions about eligibility and access to services. It explores
what these processes do to an individual's independence and to
their relationships with their families and communities.
We know that for many people it seems as if the most important
question that social care professionals ask is: "Are you in or are
you out of our system?
This is based on the belief that expensive and limited
professional-led services are the only way of meeting most social
care needs - this is absolutely not the case - services are not the
only way. Most people with social care needs are not eligible for
support - they support themselves. Many social care needs, such as
isolation or social exclusion are not fixable with a service. So a
system based on rationing and gate-keeping access to services is
inherently flawed. Delays in access to support create a backlog of
unmet need, leading to costly problems.
There are pockets of some real innovative work taking place
which don't just focus on traditional services but these are
fragmented and small scale. What we need is whole system redesign
and the need for this has never been more pressing. But this
transformation will remain a challenge as long as legal duties
remain exclusively focused upon the need to provide crisis services
to the whole population. Early intervention and citizen empowerment
are seen as luxury spends in our current deficit obsessed
In this paper, 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.
Julie Stansfield, CEO In Control
The paper can be read here.