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Social care users slam new system
PEOPLE who use social care services in York face being left isolated and insufficiently supported, a survey has found.
Findings were revealed in a report to City of York Council’s health scrutiny committee, which met to discuss findings from an ongoing study on the administration of personalised budget plans, which started in May 2012.
Budgets tailored to the individual are available to people with continuing health care needs from the Department of Health, and the council, and workshops were carried out with 34 service users to discuss what was and was not working.
The report showed that negative comments were more common than praise for the system.
Service users said they felt “feelings of social isolation, not helped by ‘poor’ transport links”, and not enough was done by community networks.
Others said getting support was “frustrating and challenging”, with “too much pressure on care managers to work quickly rather than well”.
The most critical comment on support staff care was: “Washed... Fed... You’re done”, and more felt financial services were not working well than felt they were working, with debts not taken into account, and the service and contracts being too inflexible.
David Smith, director of development at The Retreat, told the meeting: “Mental health is one of the more challenging areas in terms of personalisation.
“It’s given us better understanding of what the authorities understand about personalisation, but we’ve not managed to address the issue of why it’s not working.”
The workshops concluded there was a need for more investment and training for support staff, a more open assessment process that would be easier for users to understand, and “that care agencies should be given contracts based on quality care, not just the cheapest”.
The meeting said further lessons would be learned from the report, and research would continue to best tackle the concerns of service users.
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