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The Draft Care and Support Bill

After months of speculation, leaks and pre-emptive comments, the draft Care and Support Bill has been published.  Accompanied by eight fact sheets, impact and equality assessments the Bill is no lightweight.  For those interested in reading the full text or who intend to post formal comments on individual clauses the link to the bill is shown at the end of this article.

In releasing the Bill the Government’s stated aim is to consolidate a number of different laws into a single statute and to transform social care “from a service that reacts to crises to one that focuses on prevention and is built around the needs and goals of people”

One of the central planks of the Bill is the idea that people will control over how their individual needs are to be met.  This includes both a drive towards remaining in the family home for as long as possible and a personal budget to enable individuals to optimise their own care.   This will enable individuals to create a care package which is far more wide reaching than a simple need to be bathed or dressed.  In Factsheet 4 one example given is that part of the budget could be spent on gym membership which provides the exercise needed to aid recovery.

With personal care based on individual needs the way is open for health practitioners to make a real difference to people’s lives.  Whether by providing osteopathy or chiropody services, massage or exercise regimes or even helping with personal appearance; life could become far more fulfilling for those helping to provide personal care services.

This means that it is more important than ever to take steps to maximise patient care times and minimise “office” time.  One vital step in this direction could be the use of a virtual receptionist service.  With calls, diary appointments and even patient records taken care of the health practitioner can concentrate on making the most of helping their clients and growing their business.

By the time the draft Care and Support Bill has would its way through the Parliamentary process it may well be a very different animal from the one we see today.  But, whatever the result, maximising patient care time is one step that we can all take with or without the Bill.

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