Nearly half of all local authorities in Scotland only provide services for people with critical and substantial needs.
A survey of local authorities by Learning Disability Alliance Scotland (LDAS) showed that 47% of local authorities only met critical or substantial needs under Scotland’s national eligibility guidance.
One council only met critical needs.
Ian Hood, co-ordinator of LDAS, said: “This is, unfortunately, one more example of a postcode lottery but this time whole groups of people won’t even be getting a chance to buy a ticket.”
The results follow an investigation by Community Care which showed 80% of councils in England would not meet the needs of those with moderate care requirements.
Although the system of eligibility criteria is slightly different in Scotland, and has only been adopted by 68% of councils, it is based on the Fair Access to Care Services criteria, which operates in England. The Scottish definitions of eligibility criteria are worded differently and consider urgency of the need as well as risk to individuals being assessed.
The national eligibility guidance was introduced in Scotland in September 2009.
Jackie Baillie, MSP and convenor of the Cross Party Group on Learning Disability in the Scottish Parliament, said: “The Cross Party Group on Learning Disability has heard evidence that people who desperately need support are being denied help. Local councils need to understand that when they restrict eligibility criteria for social work support they may be denying people the chance to live an independent life.”
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