Government plans for brokers need more testing

Government plans to provide service users with a “broker” to help them choose services require much greater testing, the Commission for Social Care Inspection has said.

In a report published yesterday, CSCI says there are many unanswered questions about the role, which was called for by the government in both the adult green paper and the health and social care white paper.

It says brokerage, in tandem with direct payments and individual budgets, could ensure services are more tailored to people’s needs, but questions remain over who will perform the role and how it will be funded and regulated.

For instance, it asks whether council social workers would face a conflict of interest in providing brokerage while also having to keep services within budget.

Brokerage will be tested as part of the current individual budget pilots, but CSCI wants more widespread trials.

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