Press release

Saga Independent Living supports shake up of social care in Kent

Tuesday 31 March 2009

  • New rules giving people choice about their care come into force on April 1st
  • Saga Independent Living urges people to review their quality of care

For more information visit or call 0800 068 8583

From April everyone in Kent eligible for care funding will be allocated a personal budget*. They will be able to receive payments directly from Kent Adult Social Services (KASS). This means that for the first time people have the control over how their care budget is spent in terms of when carers will visit and what services the carers provide for them, rather than rely on council contractors to decide this for them.

Saga Independent Living is urging people to make the most of this new Government initiative and take control of the quality of care they receive in their home.

Thousands of people across Kent rely on the help of Council-contracted carers in order to maintain an independent lifestyle in their own home. Council contractors are under pressure to see a large number of people every day. This can result in the care provided largely focusing on meeting someone’s basic needs, rather than being tailored to their individual preferences.

The difference this choice can make is illustrated by the case of one Saga Independent Living customer, Mr Share, from Maidstone, who previously had his care provided by an approved KCC contractor. Mr Share felt he needed a care package that was more suited to his individual needs., He wanted the carer to stay for the whole time booked and deliver his care in the way he wanted, visiting him at convenient times and being flexible enough to make changes on a daily basis if necessary. His family contacted the Saga Independent Living team who conducted a comprehensive assessment and as a result now provide him with a personally tailored service.

Mr Share’s daughter-in-law commented, “Since we switched to Saga we have never had any reason to complain. It has certainly changed Brian’s quality of life, as well as our own.”

In order to make sure that the care people receive suits their needs and lifestyle, those requiring care, as well as their families, should seize the opportunity to seek out their own high quality care provider. The change means that people across Kent can now access the Saga Independent Living service that was, up until now, only available to private clients.

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive of Saga Group Ltd commented: “The introduction of personal budgets is fantastic news for the thousands of people assessed as needing care in their own home. Those receiving care, and their loved ones can now ensure they get the personal attention and flexible service that they deserve.”

Saga Independent Living recommends that customers ask the following questions to ensure they use a provider that is suitable for their needs:

  • Will the provider take into consideration the needs of your daily life?
  • Does the provider have a system to ensure the carers will arrive on time?
  • If you pay for an hour, will your carer stay for an hour?
  • Will the carers do what you employ them to do?
  • What training will your carers have undergone?
  • Will the carers treat you with dignity and respect?


* For more information on the Self Directed Support Project, please visit

The Kent County Council (KCC) approved provider list is not an indication of quality but is merely a record of companies that hold contracts with KCC. It does not include all potential providers of care services. The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) regulate all care providers and inspect them on a regular basis.

From 1st April all customers of KASS, will be entitled to a personal budget and have three ways of spending this money:

1) KASS can organise the care package as they do at present

2) You can employ a broker to put together the package on your behalf

3) You can find a care company yourself and they will put the package together for you

If you are an existing customer of KASS then you just need to ask your care manager for a reassessment to access your personal budget, otherwise it will be discussed with you at your next regular reassessment

Route 2 and 3 offer the customer the widest possible choice in the market, to find and put together a package tailored to their needs.

For more information about Saga Independent Living or for a free consultation, please call 0800 068 8583.

For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.



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