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Fair Access to Care Services

Fair access to care services is guidance from the Department of Health. This guidance includes a way of deciding who should receive social care services from statutory agencies (such as social services departments).

Social care services are services provided to people who need help to maintain their safety and independence on a day-to-day basis, as a result of disability, illness, injury, frailty (due to old age), or mental incapacity.

Under the fair access system, decisions on who should receive social care services are based on risks to independence - both immediate and longer term - were help not to be provided. In other words, the system looks at what might happen if services were not provided, and targets services at those at greatest risk.

The fair access system applies to adults aged 18 and over.

The fair access system does not apply to carers.


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Services providing advice and information relating to all aspects of mental health.