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Long-term care moves to self-assessment

11th August 2006

Northamptonshire County Council says it is one step ahead of the government in implementing a new self-assessment scheme for the provision of long-term social care.

The system allows customers to identify their own care needs and submit an application, rather than waiting to be assessed by a care manager, which the council says will speed up the decision-making process.

Intended to put people in control of their own care, the self-assessment procedure, which can be completed online, is currently being used by only six other local authorities across the country.

"Along with measures like direct payments, self-assessment is another way to put people in control of their own care, giving them more choice about what services they receive and how," said Rosemary Bromwich, the council's cabinet member for community care.

"Of course, for those who don't feel confident to use this, the traditional methods of assessment are still there, with care managers available to carry out the assessment and talk people through their options if they wish," she added.

The project is running ahead of a national scheme, in which the Department of Health has launched 11 pilot self-assessment projects around the country, it announced last week.

The government's proposals include giving individuals the ability to apply for equipment, home care, standard housing applications and low-level preventative services.