Leading social workers warn government against outsourcing care needs assessments.

care needs assessments

There are concerns over government plans for external agencies to carry out care needs assessments on behalf of local authorities to deal with increase in requests received for assessments brought about by care funding reforms.

External agencies could carry out a larger number of assessments to fill a gap in local authority capacity to do so, said the government”s consultation on its care funding reforms, published last week. However, social work leaders warned this could lead to inconsistency and a fall in the quality of the care needs assessments carried out.

Councils throughout the country are expected to assess 200,000 more people in upcoming years, partly because funding reforms under the Care Bill will incentivise many more self-funders to approach their council. Only by having their care needs assessed and regularly reviewed will self-funders be able to take advantage of the £72,000 cap on their eligible care costs.

Councils throughout the country are due to receive additional funding of about £1bn a year to implement the reforms, and the additional care management costs are expected to top £200m a year. The government have set out a number of ways in which these costs could be reduced and the additional demand for assessments met.  These include:

  • Greater use of self-assessment by clients themselves
  • Greater use of online There are many types of free-credits-report.com . assessments
  • Integrated assessments across health and social care
  • Combined assessments of clients and carers
  • Getting external agencies to carry out assessments

The Capacity and capability challenge – The Department of Health said the increased volume of assessments would “present a capacity and capability challenge local authorities will need to respond to” adding: “This may require new approaches, systems and tools, and the extension of the workforce to include partners who work with local authority resources to mobile casino deliver the desired outcomes. This could have implications for the existing workforce.”

However, John Nawrockyi, director of adult social services at Greenwich Council, said: “I think [assessment] should sit with the local authority for the sake of consistency and equity. If you start tendering out the assessment process it could lead to a lot of different views and thresholds being applied.” He added that the key requirement was for government to resource the increased volume of assessments effectively. “It”s straightforward, it”s a capacity issue,” he said. “We want to extend the existing system, not create a new one.”

We at HomeCareDirect have noticed the increased demand for care needs assessments on councils first hand. We offer an assessment support service for people who feel they may need care at home services but who are not sure where to start in getting their needs assessed or funding for their care at home. Over the last year we have noticed that the time frame it takes from an initial request for a care needs assessment to the assessment taking place in increasing. It is understandable that councils are struggling to respond to this increasing demand and outsourcing this to external agencies may be one of the answers to this issue. However we feel that it is of paramount importance that the quality and consistency of the assessments is retained whether these are carried out by the councils themselves or external agencies, experience and training will be key to this.

We will watch with interest how these proposed plans develop and will keep you updated here, if you’d like to share your thoughts with us please get in touch with us.