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By Debbie le Quesne

Tough new standards for social care services to meet

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New tougher standards to measure how local authority social care services shape up are to introduced next year.

Critically, there will be one to test on how well health and social care services link up, a central pillar in delivering health reforms for the nation, the  Local Government Chronicle reports this week.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt, who published the new measures last Friday, wants service users and members of the public to employ the revamped measures to hold councils to account.  Getting access to full details of the ‘new measures’ at present , however, seems quite difficult.

The new criteria, against which councils will have to report their progress, includes a measure of how services improve “people’s experience of integrated care”.

The standards will also measure the effectiveness of “reablement” services, which aim to help older hospital leavers to readjust to home life.

All this seems good, but it will be interesting to see exactly how these standards will be policed and who will try to enforce them. Without any mechanism for enforcement we will end up with the proverbial toothless tiger.

Other measures cover the quality of services which help dementia patients to live independently, and the extent to which care users report having “as much social contact as they would like”.

Mr Hunt says in a forward to the report: “People who use care and support, carers and the public can use this information to see how well their council is performing, making local authorities genuinely answerable to their communities for the quality of care.

“Councils themselves use the measures to help them drive up standards of care, and give people genuine choice and control over the services they use.”

Mr Hunt said there had been “progress” in many areas of social care, such as the rising number of people using personal budgets.

However, he said: “While it is positive that nearly two thirds of users of care say they are extremely or very satisfied with their care and support, this leaves scope to do more to ensure that everyone has a good experience.”

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Written by debbielq

November 26, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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