Glasgow City Council submitted a report to the Health and Social Care Policy Development Committee this week informing the committee of the decision to consult on the merging of existing eligibility criteria within Glasgow Social Work Services into a single, consistent approach, for access to services for all adults over the age of 16.

The report acknowledges that on introduction of the new assessment criteria, some people who would previously have received assistance from Social Work Services will no longer be eligible if they fall into the “low or moderate risk categories”.  

It is proposed that when determining eligibility for support, the Council uses the National Eligibility Framework published by the Scottish Government in 2009.  This categorises need into the following 4 bands:

  • Critical Risk: Indicates that there are major risks to an individual’s independent living or health and well-being likely to call for the immediate or imminent provision of social care services (high priority).
  • Substantial Risk: Indicates that there are significant risks to an individual’s independence or health and wellbeing likely to call for the immediate or imminent provision of social care services (high priority).
  • Moderate Risk: Indicates that there are some risks to an individual’s independence or health and wellbeing. These may call for the provision of some social care services managed and prioritised on an ongoing basis or they may simply be manageable over the foreseeable future without service provision, with appropriate arrangements for review.
  • Low Risk: Indicates that there may be some quality of life issues, but low risks to an individual’s independence or health and wellbeing with very limited, if any, requirement for the provision of social care services. There may be some need for alternative support or advice and appropriate arrangements for review over the foreseeable future or longer term

Given that there is no assessment process outlined in the report, it is unclear at this stage how these proposals will impact on care provision for affected adults.

Because the new system for eligibility will reflect the National Framework, the Council intends to carry out only a limited consultation process, with established engagement networks and stakeholders.

The consultation document is split into 3 sections: eligibility criteria, promoting community health and wellbeing, access to preventative services, and carers.  The following questions are included for consideration:

1. Do you agree that it is important that we have clear eligibility criteria for access to social work services and adopt the criteria as per Scottish Government’s established criteria framework?

2. How can universal services and the wider statutory and voluntary community planning partners best contribute to this agenda and strengthen the focus on early intervention and prevention?

How can we ensure a greater take-up of universal services? Should we consider a partnership pledge of “universal offer of information and advice to all adults? *

(our carer services make this offer to carer and is delivered through carers information booklet and carers information telephone line).

3. How can all partners best ‘signpost’ and refer people to community based support?

How good are our information sources and how can these been improved?

How will we measure success?

How can partners better contribute to increased anticipatory and preventative approach to carers as evidenced by Glasgow Carers Partnerships emphasis of supporting carers at point of diagnosis?

5. How can we increasingly support those carers providing regular and substantial care?

The full consultation document can be viewed here and accompanying report can be found on the Glasgow Council website.