Councils will not be allowed to delay the introduction of the new
Fair Access to Care Services eligibility criteria.
Revised guidance from the Department of Health says they have “had
plenty of time” to prepare.
The guidance makes it clear that new eligibility criteria for
community care services must be applied to all new cases from 7
April, whether staff are trained and policy finalised or not.
Some local authorities had hoped for an extension to the deadline
because they did not have enough time to implement the changes.
Care plans for cases open on 7 April should be reassessed using the
new criteria within 12 months.
The guidance also emphasises local authorities’ responsibilities
for housing adult asylum seekers with care needs after the Law
Lords judgement in the case of Westminster City Council v the
National Asylum Support Service.
It states: “Where destitute asylum seekers have assessed care
needsÉ no matter whether these care needs fall within or
outside councils’ eligibility criteria, councils should accommodate
such asylum seekersÉand services provided must be sufficient
to address their needs.”