Category Archives: Social care

Nationwide care threshold 'will exclude hundreds of thousands in need'

Charities warn plans to introduce threshold at ‘substantial needs’ would “perpetuate unfair system”, but ministers point to improved support for people without eligible needs.

Friday 28 June 2013 14:11

Councils would be obliged to provide care for people with ‘substantial’ eligible needs and carers who meet a defined threshold, under government plans issued today.

The proposals would end the ability of local authorities to set their own threshold – unless it were more generous than the national minimum – and would create a new eligibility framework for social workers carrying out assessments to operate.

Older people miss out on support under new rules

Social care rules aim to end ‘postcode lottery’

 Local councils provide home help services and assess who they will fund

The government is attempting to end the “postcode lottery” over care for elderly and disabled people in England.

Under new draft rules all councils in England would have to fund services for those judged to have “substantial” needs, from 2015.

Charities say that threshold is too high and would exclude many people who need help with everyday tasks.

And councils say they want assurances that any extra costs incurred will be fully funded.

Local authorities run social care services, such as home help with washing, eating and dressing or residential care, and decide who they will provide them to and whether they will pay for them.

Little consistencyCouncils can assess people as having “critical”, “substantial”, “moderate” or “low” needs. Only four councils provide care for people in all four categories – 16 councils fund those with “moderate” needs while most, 130, only fund those with “substantial” or “critical” needs.

Fifteen-minute care visits are not good enough

Almost three quarters of local authorities are still commissioning care visits to the elderly lasting only 15 minutes, figures show.


Many councils buy in care from outside firms in blocks of a quarter of an hour, leaving carers trying to complete a range of tasks with each pensioner in a short space of time.

These tasks can include dressing, washing, and heating up meals, as well as cleaning up incontinent pensioners and administering medicines.

Charities have warned that such short visits mean the carer does not have enough time to do all this.