Department of Health written question – answered on 4th January 2016.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what measures are being introduced to improve access to information and advice for those choosing specialist care packages to ensure that the support they receive is best suited to their individual requirements.
The Care Act 2014 places a duty on local authorities to establish and maintain information and advice services relating to care and support for all people in its area. Statutory guidance sets out the detail of what this is required to cover and the manner it in which it should be provided. This includes providing information and advice to those people who are known to the local authority and the wider population, and to those who have not presented to local authorities for assessment but are likely to be in need of care and support. Where it appears to a local authority that an adult may have needs for care and support, the authority must assess their needs. The aim of the assessment is to identify what needs the person may have and what outcomes they are looking to achieve to maintain or improve their wellbeing. The outcome of the assessment is to provide a full picture of the individual’s needs so that a local authority can provide an appropriate response at the right time to meet the level of the person’s needs. This might range from offering guidance and information to arranging for services to meet those needs.
The Department has supported local authorities to meet this duty with a range of practical and practice based guides, developed with a wide range of interests through the Think Local Act Personal partnership.
General information on care and support is provided nationally through the NHS Choices website. This includes a search facility for all registered providers of care and support that gives practical and quality information on their services. This information is available for all local authorities and other providers of care and support information to re-use through syndication.
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