Call For Views On Streamlining Health And Adult Social Care Assessments

Consultation begins on how best to improve information sharing across health, social care and wider community support services

The assesment process for people who need health and social care services should be quicker, simpler and more convenient – that’s the message from Care Services Minister Phil Hope as he launched a consultation on streamlining the process today.

The consultation aims to create a more efficient and transparent system of information sharing, to avoid patients having to answer the same questions several times and ensure that people receive the best quality care and support.

The Government is asking people to give their views on what changes need to be made so that people get the services best suited to their individual needs. It includes how best to safely and securely share personal information across health and social care services as well as wider community services such as housing.

The new system will reflect the fact that people are being given the power to choose and commission their own care and support services through recent reforms outlined in Putting People First.

Care Services Minister Phil Hope said:

“I know that it can be frustrating for patients when they have to give the same information every time they contact different services. So we need to make sure information can be shared at the right time and in a secure and confidential way.

“This is especially important now that more and more people are taking control of commissioning their own care. I want this consultation to bring about real changes in the system, to make our health and social care services work better around the needs of service users.”

The consultation, which is now open covers:

* how assessment and care planning should be undertaken (the principles);
* what information should be commonly shared;
* who that information might be shared with;
* proposals on the IT approach and solutions that would enable this to happen nationally; and
* the issues around confidentiality and security arrangements that this entails.

The consultation will run alongside a number of demonstrator sites, local authority led partnerships who will work to test and evaluate the practical changes that will need to be made and will take into account people’s feedback from the consultation. A first wave of demonstrator sites is expected to start shortly, and a call for interest in a second wave is expected in the summer.

Emerging evidence and good practice will be provided regularly from the three year work of the demonstrator sites which will evaluate evidence on benefits for patients, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness across the system. This evidence will be used to inform local developments and further national guidance.