Low-level services under threat

Low-level community care service users in Enfield could be left
without services thanks to a revised version of the eligibility
criteria for adult services, which came into force last week.

Under the criteria, drawn up by Enfield social services
department and passed by the council’s cabinet committee last week,
only those with high or medium needs or at high or medium risk
would qualify for support.

Those who were not eligible would be referred to the voluntary
sector and other agencies for non-statutory services.

The council said the criteria had been updated to promote
independence among clients and lead to improved practice, but
admitted that some low-level services would not continue in the
future as a result.

Around 4,000 people will be assessed using the new criteria over
the next 12 months.

Chief executive of campaign group Enfield Disability Action,
Barbara Litchfield, said she was concerned that the new criteria
could result in those who did not qualify finding themselves in a
worse situation in the future.

“The eligibility criteria in Enfield are too high,” she said.
“Two SSI reports have criticised it. We’re pleased they’ve taken
comments on board but are concerned it doesn’t provide a wide
enough range of services to a range of people.”

Enfield’s interim director of social services Stephen Wilds said
the revised criteria better reflected the demands for services and
the additional resources made available to the department.

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