Councils restricting services to most vulnerable, says Commission for Social Care Inspection

More people are paying for their own care as councils restrict services to those with the greatest need, the Commission for Social Care Inspection warned today.

Dame Denise Platt, CSCI chair, said: “Social care services in England are gradually getting better, but only for those who manage to qualify for help. The options for people who do not meet the criteria set by their local council are limited.”

The CSCI’s second annual report on the state of social care in England finds many councils are raising eligibility thresholds due to a rise in the number of older and disabled people and the costs of care.

The findings echo the watchdog’s December 2005 report, which said the social care system relied on five million unpaid carers and called on councils to give them more support.

This year’s report finds that, although services for adults and children are improving, some services are still not meeting national minimum standards and fail to offer choice and control to individuals.

It also says the marketplace for social care providers is “underdeveloped” and identifies continuing recruitment and retention problems in attracting highly qualified staff.

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