Turning Point responds to the setting of a national minimum threshold in eligibility criteria

News item posted: 04 April 2014

In response to the Department of Health's announcement on the setting of a national minimum threshold in eligibility criteria for care and support from 2015, Fiona Ritchie, Turning Point's Managing Director for Learning Disability services said;

"It is absolutely essential that we get this right. People rely on support to lead independent and fulfilling lives so we need to ensure that the eligibility criteria is not set prohibitively high.

Having national consistency around eligibility criteria is an important and positive step. However, it is also clear that having consistency without ensuring that individuals' can access the care and support they need is neither positive nor welcome.

Large numbers of people with a learning disability currently do not receive the level of support they require which can lead to their needs escalating to the point of crisis. There is not only an ethical imperative to change this but an economic one. The intention to start work on a new approach to eligibility which would offer help to families earlier, in order to help prevent a deterioration of condition, is positive. We need to remember that this is still at draft stage and we look forward to hearing more and informing the overall eligibility agenda."