Single assessments ‘will not be perfect’

Implementation of the single assessment process requires a “no
pain, no gain” attitude, the head of older people and social care
at the Department for Health has said.

Raymond Warburton told a conference last week that many councils
viewed the implementation of the SAP for older people as a “bad
dream”. But he warned councils against trying to achieve
perfection. “Remember you are trying to deliver person-centred care
where you can exercise your judgement.”

Warburton added that he was confident that councils would achieve
the April 2004 deadline, despite many agencies making slow
progress. He also said that the government was considering
introducing SAP in other areas, such as housing.

But Dwayne Johnson, the Association of Directors of Social
Services’ lead on single assessment, revealed that 60 per cent of
131 councils who responded to a recent survey had admitted they
would not be able to meet the deadline.

SAP ensures that assessments are carried out without the
disorganised intervention of agencies. It was announced three years
ago as part of the National Service Framework for Older

The conference in London was organised by care consultancy Laing
and Buisson.

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