Social services fail to assess carers’ support needs

Just under a third of carers have been assessed for support
needs by social services despite a government pledge to make the
practice available to all carers, writes Amy

New research by charity Carers UK finds that almost half of the
carers who had not been assessed had not been informed of their
right to an assessment.

A third were unaware of the reason for being assessed and a
quarter saw the practice as pointless, believing it would not lead
to any more support. This view was found to be exacerbated by some
social services staff’s negative attitude towards assessments.

Charity chief executive Diana Whitworth attributed the poor
assessment levels to local authority staff being unaware of the new
legislation and to underfunding of the social care sector, with
many councils saying they did not have the money to provide carers
with adequate support.

The survey, which covered nearly two thousand carers, also shows
that more than half of those who had an assessment did not end up
receiving any extra services as a result, even though two thirds of
them felt they were not getting the support they required.

Carers UK is arguing for a legal duty to be placed on local
authorities to inform carers of their right to an assessment, as is
already the case in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It also wants
the government to propose action for the next phase of the national
strategy for carers.

‘Missed Opportunities’ from 020 7566 7626


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