Out of interest and curiousity, I looked up Coventry City Council and the eligibility criteria for social care in the website, Coventry has
Eligibility criteria classify people's needs into four bands:
When we first introduced the eligibility criteria, we tried to meet people's needs in all of these bands. Coventry was possibly the only local authority in the country to do so. This resulted in serious financial problems for the local authority and, in practice, we were simply not able to meet all of these needs. As a consequence, waiting lists grew for assessment and for services and the care budget was overspent by £2 million.
The changes to the eligibility criteria that we introduced in April 2004, following the consultation we carried out, has meant that we have targeted our money on those people with critical and substantial needs and we no longer provide services to people with 'low' needs. We also help some people with moderate needs by offering short-term support to enable them to better care for themselves and maintain their independence in the long run.This 'short term support' is, I suppose, the 'Promoting Independence' package that they offered me. Very laudable and the rhetoric is fine, it sounds good.
When I researched further, I find a response to a DoH green paper, Independence, Well-being, and Choice where Coventry Council argued against the rhetoric as being fagile and contain not enough evaluations. Most interesting is:
An examination of the balance of power is needed, between those who promote independence and those who support dependency. To consider better ways of setting realistic expectations of service users, particularly about enablement – be positive. If we are serious about empowerment then more advocacy is required.
We will review the nature of the roles we give Occupational Therapists in the Directorate and look to empower them to undertake more "enablement" work. This might require a further review of eligibility criteria.
We will review the advocacy arrangements in the City for all user groups.
(from Coventry City Council website document, a pdf)