Department of Health
Published: 16 May, 2014
guidance on information and advice
Back to information and advice
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Really pleased to finally see that carers have specific advice and information needs that should be met – A&I regarding the people they care for – and A&I to help them maintain their own health, wellbeing and quality of life. This will not be met through generic A&I services. Pls continue to emphasis the specialist nature of this work.
Local authorities should ensure a range of techniques and formats for advice provision. One stop advice centres as provided by some local authorities are able to signpost to appropriate services. There needs to be input from health, social care and housing services into the development of information. The advice needs to be impartial, comprehensive and provided in an appropriate format.
Whilst it is very comprehensive and spells out clearly what the duties are for LAs and partners there is no reference to the local offer which is the parallel piece of work LAs are undertaking in C and YPs services with partners. There is potential for collaborative working in this area especially in relation to Information and Advice, coordinated delivery and the commissioning of support to meet the requirement for an integrated Information and Advice model.
Given the local offer supports transition to adulthood (0-25) this should be referenced in this chapter and clear messages re what LAs need to do to ensure that info/advice is provided in a coordinated way.
One of the key issues for people is the continuity and consistency of support, this is significant in the area of I and A where people are trying to navigate a new adults landscape and need good info to support this.
With reference to specific sections in the chapter
3.2 no reference to young people and their families
3.16 no reference to families/parents
3.23 this is the only reference to transitions in this chapter
3.25 moving to adulthood is a key life event and should be included
3.50 reference to joint working with health but not to children’s and families services
The chapter should also emphasise the potential to coordinate/joint commission I and A /advocacy services across adults and children’s to ensure continuity of support.
3.30.This confuses impartiality with independence, LAs can and do provide impartial Information, Advice and Support Services (see SEND CoP chapter 2) and the IASSN Standards
3.51.This should reference the IASSN Standards.
There needs to be reference to the local IASS, both as a service LA should consider linking up with and as an example of impartiality. The guidance should require the service to be impartial and to carry out casework support – which is often how advice is practically given. The IASS standards contain useful definitions of information, advice and support as well as independence and can be found here – http://www.parentpartnership.org.uk/media/20465/quality-standards-for-iass.pdf
I welcome the recognition in the guidance of the importance of providing information in accessible formats. It is vital that everyone who needs information and advice can access it and can do so in a timely manner.
The draft guidance on Information and Advice is very clear and strongly emphasises the importance of information. It is helpful in setting out ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’ to ensuring good quality, comprehensive information is put in place, the need for which has been highlighted by many service users and carers for a number of years. The examples in the draft guidance of the different audiences for information are helpful and the vital role of information and advice in effective prevention is made apparent. Targeting information to those who have specific health and care and support needs will depend upon the core local information and advice service being well-co-ordinated, user-friendly and well-publicised. Specific information about health conditions or specialist needs will need to be drawn from a wide range of sources (local and national) but local information about community services and how to access local care services will be needed by individuals at the same time, so the quality of the ‘whole package’ of information will be vital. Core information organised on the web will be the source used by advisers as well as individuals (including family and carers) who will look for information themselves. Selected information can then be tailored for individuals’ need or pulled together for promotions/campaigns at particular groups or to equip particular health workers visiting patients at home etc.
The obligation on LAs to ensure a comprehensive and universal information and advice service is welcomed, as is the recognition that they do not need to provide all elements directly themselves. Utilising community providers and specialists should help to avoid poor quality advice (see paragraph below). However, it will be a challenge to align lots of different information and advice from different sources and providers. For LAs to successfully undertake a co-ordinating role will require the setting and agreeing of standards of information provision (not all information is good information) – possibly accompanied by some form of accreditation – and putting in place agreed and workable protocols on information/data sharing that cover the NHS. Consideration should be given to what can appropriately be done at the national level, to avoid every locality having to design everything from scratch. Local Healthwatches and User Led Organisations could potentially play an important role in quality assuring the local information service.
In terms of targeting, people receiving supported housing/housing related support need to be viewed as part of the audience for targeting, as they will often have actual or potential health and social care needs. Supported housing providers already routinely provide a wealth of information and advice to the people they serve and should therefore be seen as an integral part of local information services. LAs should therefore encourage support providers to expand their information and advice role, so they don’t end up themselves with large numbers of referrals that they cannot manage. Care should be taken however to avoid this being achieved by simply adding provisions to contracts as the provision of high quality and relevant information is not resource free. We think there is capacity for providers to take on care co-ordination roles, going beyond signposting, which could maximise the value of these interventions. The tie in with assessment is important. Offering good information and advice at assessment can help people to make good choices about their care and support including accessing preventative services for non-eligible clients. All of these points might usefully be addressed in the guidance.
Case Study – Orbit South Sherwood House, Hastings. –
This example shows the inventive way in which Housing Related Support can help support information and advice service.
Following feedback through clients support plans and client surveys it was identified that a number of clients were missing out on vital well-being services and support due a lack on knowledge of available services and issues in making connections with these services
Following meetings with residents staff from Obit invited providers from the local area to have a stall at an informal drop-in session ‘Information Morning’ in the communal lounge of Sherwood House, Hastings The Information Morning had been discussed at two client meetings and flyers and balloons were put up around the scheme on the morning to remind clients.
Clients were offered individual consultations with four services.
• East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre,
• Allergy Support,
• Orbit Community Investment Team and
• Activities, Respite, Rehabilitation and Care Centre (ARRCC)
ARRCC offered a ‘taster day’ in a fortnights time including lunch and transport for clients to go and try their day centre activities.
Orbit Community Investment Team offered funding applications to clients for ‘learning’ activities and agreed to work with a local service provider to run an exercise class at Sherwood House in the future.
11 clients took the opportunity to have individual consultation sessions, three clients with mobility problems who don’t get out much had consultations sessions with all four service providers.
The event demonstrated that by services providing outreach and making themselves available at the communal lounge/home of older clients, especially those with mobility problems, this can provide the boost needed to start new relationships. Clients improved their access to other services and improved natural circles of support.
One client who is reluctant to access hearing services despite her isolation not being able to hear other clients, had a new tube fitted in her hearing aid and greed to contact the hospital for an assessment.
Two clients signed up for I.T. classes
One client signed up for a Literature class
Five clients had individual 20 minute consultations with East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre
Case Study – Pulling Together
Pulling Together is an example of homeless clients and front line staff working together to identify key information and advice about welfare benefit reform – including the shift from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payment. This approach is all about recognising that information and advice needs to be led by those who are expert by experience.
By working together with clients, front line staff and welfare experts, a suite of training and resources has been developed to empower learners to tackle the challenges of welfare benefits reform. http://www.pullingtogether.org.uk
From Healthwatch Northumberland
Local authorities should have up to date dedicated information points not only online but also based in communities and should be mindful of the community they are serving. Local authorities should work closely with all partners to target information appropriately.
There are a number of key places in the community where individuals should have access to relevant accessible information in a timely fashion.
The primary function of these places, however, is often to provide a service; a health or social care service for needs that are acute or a private/community service such as a shop or a hairdresser.
Local Authorities will need to work with organisations who engage such partners in supporting individuals to access information an support.
Alongside this a strength based approach is essential as communities must play a key part in understanding and disseminating the relevant information to individuals.
The term carers should be changed to Personal Assistants within the care act 2014.
The guidance makes many references to joint working with health and integration approaches. Some more specific guidance and direction for our health partners to assist them in their understanding of the requirements of them, may also lead to provision of better targeted information to those with specific health needs. The development of portals, joint information systems accessible at various places within the health and social care venues etc etc will also assist.
The guidance appears to have an implicit assumption about unitary authorities rather than a District/Council model. Co-ordinating and targeting information is more problematic in the latter model.
National standards for waiting times for adaptations or decisions about adaptations would speed things up.
When facilitating discharge home from hospital after trauma or significant change in function it is paramount that people’s housing needs can be prioritised and addressed without delay. This may require partnerships with the private sector and agreements about how we all can share the costs of deposits and or moving to make this possible.
We agree with the reference to First Stop Advice Paragraph 3.63.
We recognise the need for this to be accessible and a range of ways to support people doing this including the internet and assistance in person or by phone. We would like to note the unique contribution of occupational therapists in helping an individual to understand their how their condition affects their function and how the right environment can enable/maximise independence which is important in understanding what an individual’s housing needs are. People need to understand their needs first in order to increase the probability of making better decisions.
This section is very comprehensive. I hope the govenment understands that not eveyone will have access electronically to relevant advice sheets.
3.59 should be expanded with an example.
LA should consider the persons and/or places
most likely to come into contact with people
in need of information and advice at these
and other critical points in the person’s care
and support journey. This may be another
statutory party, such as a GP or other NHS
professional, other professionals, such as a
solicitor or funeral director, or a local group,
user-led or charitable organisation, rather
than the local authority itself. Local authorities
should consider whether independent
sources of information and advice may in
some circumstances be more trusted – and
therefore more effective – than the local
The examples could include funeral directors giving advice on probate, citizen advice bureau on managing money, etc.
Given this information will be applicable across the country would it not make sense to develop resources nationally which local authorities can access locally?
We have strongly opposed giving this responsibility to Local Authorities. There must be absolute clarity around the provision of information. Local Authorities are both providers and purchasers of such services and therefore must have a vested interest.
Many of our members would tell you that they are excluded from having their information shared with prospective purchasers of services because they do not meet the criteria for the local authority contract. This is always about money but people who fund themselves should have all the information available to them and then they can decide how to spend their own money.
We most certainly need reassuring that information will be shared about all providers of services, in fact we insist that all providers of care should be treated equally within the guidance.
Local Authorities rely heavily on online communicative methods, due to the efficiency, cost and large potential audiences, however there is a need to think of additional and alternative ways to relay information. A web only system of information sharing would result in sections of the community not being reached. For hard to reach groups it may be thinking about who is the connecter in that community, establishing relationships with them so they can facilitate or spread the word on behalf of the authority. The guidance also needs to be clearer on the duty of a local authority to provide information.
It will be important that LAs take a broad approach to this issue recognising that many different organisations contribute to delivering information and advice. Rather than, for example, seeking to try and channel everyone through a single ‘gateway’ LAs should commission a wide range of organisations to deliver I&A as part of a network of providers. There should be ready availability of independent sources of information and advice covering the major groups of people who need care and support. This would include ‘specialist’ provision tailored to the needs of specific groups who may find it difficult to access regular channels e.g. people with a learning disability.
The role of the LA in this area is similar to that in respect of commissioning other services i.e. to understand the needs of the population, ensure a supply of good quality providers and monitor outcomes to ensure that needs are being met.
Increasingly information and advice needs to be delivered through a multiplicity of channels. However there remains a need for face-to-face provision particularly for groups who will find it difficult to use web based approaches.
There will be so many strands comprising the information and advice which are needed for a person to make an informed decision that I am not at all hopeful that it is deliverable in the way it is envisioned here. How much information will be transmitted in all the various languages which are spoken in the community?
This issue is already addressed with the local authority (Haringey) working with health, third sector and community partners to identify health needs within the borough, as reflected in our JSNA, and taking a multifaceted approach to the dissemination of target information. This involves the use of different media and information in different languages, campaigns, briefing, press releases etc. We track performance against key health and social care KPIs (e.g. falls, delayed discharges, service user satisfaction) to monitor the impact of information provided.
Stronger links with third sector organisations should be encouraged.
Often these charitable organisations have very specialist knowledge and user friendly information for people who have specific health needs. This is usually provided free of charge.
They can also offer support and advice to health care professionals thus strengthening links with appropriate services.
Its good to see that carers need to information in their own right has been identified, and that a wide range of ways of accessing that information are highlighted. Carers often value face to face support (its too easy to refuse help otherwise) and we are pleased that this has been included.
Involving health in providing information – or signposting to it – is essential or people ineligible for social care will continue to miss out. Primary care is an obvious place but acute care is essential too.
Local authorities should also work with community agencies such as local carers organisations, to target carers and ensure information and advice is available to carers and provided by a workforce with expertise in supporting carers; and broader information providers including financial advisors to ensure cross referral to carer information.
At the moment, the care funding system has numerous entry points and referrals for information – this can make it difficult for individuals in need of funding and their families to understand. It would be helpful if there was a single point of entry which allowed access to all the necessary information in one place. This should include information on how to access regulated financial advice where this is appropriate.
Best approach will be to co-design the service, its content and its provision with local support groups to ensure that the right groups are targeted with the relevant information, and the right access arrangements developed to ensure that everyone with a health and care and support need can access it.
GP’s need to take a bigger responsibility for dissemination of advice, information and guidance. They simply must recognise that patients are accessing GP’s services as a result of stress, brought about by not having access to appropriate information and advice about services available to support. On average a carer goes to their GP six times a year more than a non-carer, with symptoms of stress and depression. If GP’s were to signpost these carers to appropriates of support then this would be a huge saving to the NHS. A ten minute consultation is simply not enough to discuss the issues that cause the stress and depression.
In the past local authorities (LA) have held axes over voluntary and community organisations heads by being the ones to grant aid or tender fund them. A mountain of documentary evidence and history shows us that if such an organisation challenges the LA then they will have their funding cut or removed altogether. This system is detrimental to the well-being and health of citizens. The Care Bill should ensure that individuals, not commissioning officers say who provides them with support and guidance and that an amount should be allocated to them individually every year in their personal budgets to give to such organisations as donations. Where self-funders are concerned they should have to pay for this advice in the form of a recommended donation.
This way the market will develop naturally and as can be evidenced in areas like Nottinghamshire the marketplace grows three times faster.
All the local authority would have to do is provide a fact sheet telling people what to look for, a website for companies, charioties and voluntary organisations to advertise their services and a feedback system for individuals to make comments, similar to ebay.
This area is vast. Key areas should be identified such as financial, health, social care etc.
Each of these then needs subcategorising into no more than four sub strands; Financial = Welfare Entitlements; Charitable grants and funds; Investments and pensions; Mortgages and loans for example.
This would then make it much easier to identify and commission providers.
The key outcome is to ensure people receive accurate and effective information and advice that’s right for them at the right time.
Need to instigate change while in a healthcare setting. Social care information needed while still in hospital before discharge
GP recognition workers have signed up most GPs – have set up the means for health to support carers
Health priority is to discharge patients from a&e, not provide social care support. Priority gap is apparent – involve social care teams in hospitals
A&E have a discharge team/process – but is reliant on the doctor to instigate
District and boroughs need to expand their outlook – for example housing : housing office has very little social care information
Each D&B has their own publication – same key messages can be communicated across all district and borough publications county-wide. But there is a 3 month lead in time
If above adopted – important that standardisation of language used is adopted across all D&Bs. ASC Communications is currently reviewing this
Information overload – there are hundreds of leaflets in GP surgeries some with complicated language/jargon – because many deaf people do not read well much information is not accessible to deaf people
Various service providers have different approaches to supporting deaf people – eg some will provide an interpreter, some not. Need consistent approach
District and boroughs have a number of staff who volunteer to train to sign – realise the three year commitment when they sign up
Local networks are important to develop but must have access to up to date information.
Directories go out of date very quickly
Face to face is a better approach – during times of crisis when people are stressed they do not have the ability to take in a lot of information, especially written
The challenge is to get the balance right of face to face, on line, printed information. Also critical is the quality of information provided – step by step guides co-designed with users and other organisations
The care pathway starts for many in hospital and good face to face interaction is important, and to check whether information and advice given is acted upon
Major cultural change is required in the attitude towards provision of information and advice – eg with homelessness, the borough council advice to someone in danger of being made homeless is to wait until they are homeless before intervention. Also, if they cannot prove a local connection then they receive little support
Key groups having access to information can be a challenge – many elderly men have no local connections to offer support, so GP visits are key to providing support.
Need a more defined and stronger link with GPs.
Those with moderate needs embodies the spirit of the act
Make use of other signposting services, such as CAB as well as GP’s and in hospitals
Social prescribing pilots – where networks of support are identified within CCGs which then help GPs and other health professionals to signpost people to support
The expectation that GPs can ‘do it all’ has not been met – what GPs want is a single contact number which they can give to people to ring to discuss support
Two people at the Epsom wellbeing centre act as a ‘talking directory’, looking up information for people and then telling them about it
People don’t want to have to call several numbers to get the information and advice they need – they just want one number to call
When you call a locality team, they will ask you to call the contact centre
Wording in the guidelines for independent financial advice not especially helpful – it refers it financial information and advice which is independent of the LA covering a whole range of needs, so is a bigger picture than directing people to an independent financial adviser
Finally two tier authorities are recognised as fundamental to the prevention agenda.
Each D&B has its own health and wellbeing strategy board, and each area has its own Health and Wellbeing board, and key decisions made in the SW Surrey H&WB board are rippling out to other areas.
Serivces are provided at a local level by D&B’s so the only contact number people need is for their local D or B.
People want to speak directly to someone, and have less reliance on IT. Social services are a partner, and not the lead for prevention services.
Important to liaise with health/consultants/GPs to train them and share information, to get social care on their agenda
An independent homecare provider finds new clients reluctant to involve social services, but have a role to discuss their needs, provide reassurance and to direct them to appropriate support.
GPs also have this signposting role
SE Surrey district council do not provide a service, just signpost
Need a common ‘language’ used to communicate about social care Surrey wide
Need to make more use of IT and accessing information via websites especially for carers managing at a distance
There are some issues with internet access for blind people. With the reading programmes blind people use, they can be confused by certain website layouts. These websites need to be checked.
The challenges presented by the Information and Advice elements in the Care Act are to communicate the need to pay for care, the changes which are being brought in, raise awareness, and the practical steps individuals need to take.
Attitudes towards care need to change, particularly around planning for care, making well-informed decisions and having frank conversations with family about funding
Need to remove the stigma around identifying people with care needs
Provider had an intake of PLD whose parents were very elderly and found quite suddenly they were no longer able to cope. They had no previous involvement with social services, and had no information about preparing for/accessing local care and support. Information challenge to reach these older parents of PLD
Social services keen to talk to providers about individuals who may initially have low needs but who are deteriorating, so that a full assessment/review can be undertaken
Confidentiality may be an issue (with the above), providers cannot disclose client information. Many come to a private provider because they don’t want social services intervention and the associate stigma
Each D&B needs a hub and Wellbeing centre, although transport to a hub and Wellbeing centre is an issue
Need a wider range of community centres providing information
A mobile service to tour areas with information and advice, such as by bus, would be highly valuable. No plans to relaunch the mobile library service
DoH working on approach to measure the ‘universal’ element of the information and advice requirement. Currently use existing national survey questions and are looking to develop more targeted questions, as well as LA monitoring and indicators fed back to the DoH
More scoping work needs to be done to enable the various key workers in the system to access and share information, including confidential information
People a often anxious when first assessed by a private provider – aware that they have care needs but reluctant to acknowledge. Often more receptive after the initial visit – this is a better time to provide information and/or signpost to services
There is a limit to the volume of information that can be displayed – a simple poster can sometimes have better impact
Most people will visit their GP surgeries and is a good place to pick up information, but the leaflet displays are managed by commercial organisations and are overfull with different leaflets – too much to take in
Digital display screens in GPs waiting rooms a potential way to display messages
Many come to CABs in crisis, especially over housing issues, debt, and long term health conditions. Many visit as they cannot access the internet so staff are concerned with giving support in person/over the phone. Often a knock on effect where issues in one area, eg with housing can impact upon another, eg mental health
The universal benefits forms are available online only, but this hits the target market hard as many have no online access
GPs are a key way to get major points and messages across. There is a potential for GPs, or at least GP surgeries, to link to SIP to provide information and advice
Advisers based in hospitals can be effective
Discharge teams making more use of SIP
Red Cross working with hospital discharge in many hospitals
Carer support services have a good relationship with a number of agencies. People contact when they don’t know what services are available and how to access them
The campaign to raise awareness of carers with Children’s service led to a number of schools/colleges providing information
GP surgeries organising drop in sessions to offer advice
Healthwatch has been around visiting most GP surgeries, and found some to be helpful and receptive, others not
The fire and police services employ a number of volunteers – there is the potential for them to signpost people to relevant support
Corporate volunteers supported by a number of large organisations may be keen to demonstrate their corporate responsibility by supporting their local community
A downloadable toolkit to help facilitate local support would be welcomed. SCC are currently planning this
Disjointed delivery of information and advice across a number of agencies in Surrey
Developments such as private extra care housing developments is a potential setting to reach those with care needs and provides a physical environment and an opportunity to distribute information and advice
Private providers of extra care housing provide information to prospective tenants to funnel them into a particular direction – to take up their offer – so would be less inclined to provide a wide range of information and advice
Care for the individual essential – assess their needs and route them to the appropriate information. Then provide one package of information, with a feedback loop to check the information is getting through. Do not want a range of care organisations all providing similar information and advice
Elderly living close to each other provide support among themselves, and pay for services themselves. Potential to receive social care information
GPs are crucial in this process – most people have contact with their GP, so are key to providing targeted information
Practice managers have a key role in signposting people to appropriate information and advice
A simpler approach is to have social care staff available in GP surgeries
For this to be successful (above idea) – practitioners need to be properly trained and to have the right information and training. Recent experience of user having more detailed knowledge than the voluntary sector worker providing support
Facilitator: we have 25,000 people working in social care in Surrey. How do we get specialist workers/team up to speed, in a manageable way?
Need to share data across agencies – to have one system all use
Appropriate information, at the right time, is needed to make the right choices. But – there is no simple answer
No one practitioner can hold all information on all specialisms. The skill is knowing how to find the required information – jointly with the individual
Those giving out information also need to be trained in customer care – to probe for more information behind the original request in case there is further support needed
Often people are discharged from hospital with no information or advice on accessing support – which in turn can lead to another crisis
GPs are extremely busy, and can only provide a 10 minute consultation so little time to provide social care information and advice. Need a slimmed down information pack to give to people
Need a trained information navigator, available in GP surgeries, who the GP could ‘prescribe’ an appointment to see
GP practices vary hugely – some have space which is not used, some would have space for an information advisor to be based there, some have late opening. This provides an opportunity as nearly everyone goes to see their GP
Hospital waiting rooms another potential venue where an advisor could be based.
The Eyecare Liaison Officer, employed by RNIB, is available in eye clinics to expand on the information provided by consultants – these provide a potential model for information navigators
The Doh sets the specification for GP contracts – so the only way the provision of information and advice by GPs will succeed is if the DoH writes this into their contracts
The first point of contact is the GP surgery receptionist – they have a key role in signposting/providing information and advice
Although we have social care teams based in hospitals, they are usually in offices away from wards
Health professionals visiting people in their own homes are often best placed to spot other potential needs, and should be able to signpost people with the appropriate information
Individuals can get confused and overwhelmed when presented with a crisis situation, will turn to a carer support organisation who will then contact various agencies. Ideal is to have a single resource/database
One size does not fit all – people should be signposted to information if appropriate, but be given more detailed advice if more support is required
It is impossible to meet everyone’s information and advice needs, as identified in the care act, with current resources
Most people are still unclear on what the cap on care costs actually means
A quick win may be to provide staff approaching retirement with information on how to stay fit and healthy
Need to recognise that most individuals do not look for information until they actually need it – and then they need it rapidly
Once awareness campaign starts and these issues are in the media, people’s awareness will be raised and traffic will increase
Campaign messages may well be ‘tailored’ as will be just before the general election
The increase in the number of private care agencies should be viewed with some caution, as profit is their prime motive so ay not want to be an information and advice channel
Key issue is getting to the 80% who are self funders
Reablement an issue – difficulties getting GPs to provide information, they in turn feel disengaged from the CCG’s
Need to ensure staff can focus on the key information that they need to know
GPs are key – people look to GPs for information and advice, but it does not always happen. They are seen as the fount of all information, but often fall short. People do not distinguish between health and social care, see it as one
We already have the carers care pathway, which identifies trigger points at which information and advice should be provided. But people may not want information and advice straight away, if going through a personal crisis they may just want someone to talk to, and at the right point in the healing process they are ready for information and advice
Caution when referring to the term ‘carers assessment’ – many carers think this is a test of their caring ability. Should be a carers needs assessment
With reference to the proposed publicity campaign) it will take a generation for behaviours to change
The point of entry for accessing information and advice is immaterial – the important thing is for it to be effective. This can be with a local dimension – who is running what service or activity, on a very local level
(Facilitator – sought reaction to idea of handing over Surrey Information Point to the local community, to update with local content. Very positive reaction from all)
Wellbeing Centres not successful – carer support attend the Wellbeing centre, but people do not visit them
Wellbeing centres are open 7 days a week until late (in Woking), and local voluntary organisations book slots but then do not turn up. It is for local groups to run – council only has administrative role
The DoH does not recognise the challenges of implementing the requirements of clause 4 in a 2 tier authority
Different districts and boroughs have differing approaches to providing information and advice on health and social care needs – need a consistent approach. But the public don’t see the difference between the district, borough and county councils
There is a danger that clause 3.22 of the guidance implies that CCGs do not have a direct information and advice role
In Kent, Porchlight, a housing support organisation providing a commissioned service, set up in GP surgeries and GPs can then pass individuals on to them if required
Any information and advice signposting tool would need resource to keep it updated – only valuable if information is current
Any signposting tool would only work if the person was comfortable with technology. Would need support if technically challenged
dvice will be available to significant numbers of people for the first time. Need to open people’s eyes to the availability of advice services and organisations. But the demise of the legal quality mark, which no longer applies to advice, may give rise to problems of quality of advice given
A potential way to reach self funders – on the assumption that their relative wealth will put them into the higher council tax bandings, identifying them using this process means they could be sent targeted information
Sheltered housing schemes/support services play a vital role in the dissemination of any kind of information which impacts on health and well-being, early intervention, and preventing or delaying people’s need for higher levels of care and support in relation to all older people in a community. Many sheltered housing schemes are community hubs for all older people where all kinds of activities take place including for example, health eating, exercise classes, social activities etc and act as a base for other agencies, services and voluntary groups to reach older people in a community.
LA’s could try push an ITT type request, using marketing/local networks to all known local services and to bigger national third sector organisations, to try to seek a view of what is already out there and what the gaps may be. LA’s also need to engage better with third sector and community services in order to assess what’s out there as not all services will be high quality and therefore people should not be signposted to them.
Co-production with the local population to define outcomes that align to strategic objectives would mean that outcomes would be locally agreed and could be measured against JSHW/JSNA etc.
This Chapter makes the connection with housing in several places and the Housing LIN is pleased to note a reference to FirstStopAdvice paragraph 3.63. The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Housing and Care for Older People inquiry report, ‘Living Well at Home’ (2011), recommended that Government should provide long term funding to FirstStopAdvice and that local authorities and service providers should improve the way they produce and convey information to older people about the service options, costs, quality outcomes and sources of further assistance that can both educate and enable older people to plan for their future housing and care needs and aspirations.
Living Well at Home
This APPG inquiry report highlighted the importance of independent and impartial information and advice accessible by older people living in all tenures in order to achieve:
• a preventative approach that provides for real choice and control about one’s living situation in later life, and
• local housing options advice and information services that offer advice, advocacy and practical help, including home visiting and on-going support to implement chosen housing options, tailored to individual circumstances
A copy of the report can be downloaded at: http://www.independentage.org/campaigning/parliament/appg-on-housing-and-care-for-older-people/
The co-ordination of information will be challenging because of the wide range of organisations that independently produce information. Establishing ways to link people to the most relevant information for their situation at any one time will be essential. Collaborative approaches will need to be developed between the statutory sector, community & voluntary sector and independent providers to achieve this.
Local Authorities should have a defined maximum timescale to complete an assessment.
Local Authorities should work with/commission existing community based voluntary sector advice providers to undertake assessments and better help carers and their cared for access benefit entitlements; these entitlements are vital to improving the quality of life for carers and cared for but can be very off putting to applicants due to the complex forms.
Local Authorities should be more sophisticated in their commissioning of services, with targets based on outcomes rather than just counting numbers – it is the effectiveness of the work that should be tested not just how many have been identified
A person entering the care maze for the first time should have access to information that is not avalanched but branched, so that one decision leads on to another, and offered on a regular basis over a couple of years. Not everyone is ready to accept help straight away no matter how much it is needed.
Also every provider, however funded or charity based should have an obligation to register with the local authority advice or information service so that their area of provision can be led to within the information tree. Enabling the user to easily source the service, provision or support that is most suited to their particular set of circumstances and ending the current situation of pot luck or word-of-mouth to finding what you really need.
Guidance must reflect that information and support services, which are set up by local authorities, have a service which is capable of guaranteeing that information will be made available in alternative formats.
We need to ensure that information and advice is available at time of sight loss in clinics and this could be provided if an Eye Clinic Liaison Officer were employed at every eye clinic.
Eye clinics should link with voluntary sector and local societies to let people know what information is available.
Third-party organisations play a huge role in supporting carers, LA’s need to ensure they are linking up with third party organiastions and chairites that also provide services to family carers and their loved ones.
CCGs are required to provide a single care plan and are working towards this. Can the guidance reinforce this requirement and that this single view is not a technical health or social care document but a user friendly ‘care plan’ held by the patient/service user in their home and taken with them to appointments or shown to professional attending so that professionals do not have to ask for the same information.
Carers should collectively be supported to come together and be part of local decision-making, providing clear direction to shape local contexts
Local authorities should provide opportunities for user-led and carer-led third sector services to support carers/users in shaping how information and advice is delivered locally. This should not be tokenistic and users and carers should be at the heart of change. Experienced, skilled and trained carers exist locally and should be used to bring carers (and users) together to share information and advice, experiences and recommendations about change. This work should be done in a group/training environment to empower carers/users and strengthen their local voices.
I think all service providers should be made to offer support directly or direct people in the right direction if themselves are unable to help, i.e my partner who I care for is autistic and has been refused help from health services because she does not meet their criteria for the help / support.