A NEW social care policy to help vulnerable adults get access to support within their communities is being rolled out in Dumbarton and the Vale.

Members of West Dunbartonshire’s health and social care partnership (HSCP) reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the strategy by agreeing the accompanying ‘Eligibility Criteria for Adult Community Care’ policy.

The HSCP will now be responsible for working in collaboration with the area’s residents to determine whether a need for the provision of community care support exists – and if it does, how those needs should be met.

The move comes after the introduction of the Social Care (Self Directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013, which places a duty on local authority social work departments to offer people who are eligible for social care a range of choices over how they receive their support.

The updated policy was presented to the HSCP’s board last week.

John Burns, one of the service improvement leads, said: “The policy relates to all citizens accessing adult social care. The application of the policy is set at a national level.

“It identifies and categorises risk to an individual’s health and wellbeing and allows people to live well at home for as long as possible.

“It considers risk across four categories and the likely need for services across each of those categories and how often they should be provided.

“Over the development of the policy, stakeholders have been involved including staff and trade unions whose opinions and comments were sought.

“They were asked if the policy made sense. Would it help decision making and could they explain it to the service users? A positive response was received.

“There were high levels of engagement across the HSCP. We are exploring other options of care and there are discussions under way to help frame the policy.

“There are a number of challenges which lie ahead but this is something we are serious about and are committed to applying.”

The policy is expected to be renewed in September 2023.