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Eligibility Criteria - Targeting services according to people’s needs 5 January 2008

The Social Services Division are planning to introduce Eligibility Criteria for their services in order to ensure that they make the best use of limited public resources and that people have an equal chance of receiving the most appropriate service based on their assessed needs.

There will be three levels of priority:

  • Priority 1 High Need This relates to people who need support all the time and may have a critical need.
  • Priority 2 Medium Need This refers to people who need some help every day and have a substantial need.
  • Priority 3 Low Need This refers to people who generally manage but need support from time to time.

The range of services provided will have specific eligibility criteria making it clear the people each service is targeted towards and the needs they are intended to meet. For each new person requiring services a decision will be based on an assessment of an individual’s needs including a consideration of present and potential risks to that individual, and the type of support and care which will be most helpful to them.

Andrew Swithinbank, Director of Social Services, explained the approach saying

“The demand for Social Services is ever increasing and quite rightly the public have increasingly high expectations of quality range and appropriateness of the care and support services they receive. We need to apply Eligibility Criteria in order for us to be able to deliver high quality services within a finite budget, and to ensure we target intensive help to those in greatest need. We can then ensure we can arrange an appropriate type of support to people with lower levels needs to enable them to live as independently as possible and to prevent their situation deteriorating.”

Council of Ministers has agreed to this approach and Minister for DHSS, Eddie Teare, has written to all Tynwald members to inform them of the process and seek their support. Minister for DHSS, Eddie Teare, said

“This approach will provide a policy and process which ensures that all of our population have an equal chance of receiving help according to their assessed needs, provides clarity for those seeking our services, and will help us make the best use of the public’s resources.”

The criteria for services for Children and Families will be introduced as part of the development of Integrated Children’s Services and the situation in care and support for Adults will be introduced after consultation with other Government Departments to ensure a fully co-ordinated approach which ensures each service’s specialist help is effectively deployed.

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