... _bett.aspx

Councils must give people better information
30 October 2007

Councils must give people looking for care better and more accessible information. That's the verdict of our mystery shopper exercise – read the results in our report, published today.

Read our mystery shopper report, called Hello, how can I help? (PDF, 283 KB, opens in new window)
Our mystery shoppers, posing as people asking about care for an older relative, contacted all 150 councils in England.

On the phone council staff generally gave good information and inspired confidence. However their written information varied considerably.

One of the shoppers said: "Some of the stuff they sent seemed like they just picked up whatever they had and chucked it in an envelope. There was no structure to it."

Key findings
Nearly a quarter of councils did not send any written information to our mystery shoppers, and of those who said they would send an information pack, 11% didn't arrive.
Just over half of the information packs were rated from adequate to very poor.
Some were given too little information, some so much that it looked more like junk mail and could easily put off or confuse people.
Nearly a third of 125 councils, when asked, said they did not have information for someone with poor eye sight.
Find out more
Get advice on choosing social care from our website