Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ13: Standardised Care Need Assessment Mechanism for Elderly Services

     Following is a written reply by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, to a question by the Hon Leung Kwok-hung in the Legislative Council today (June 10):


     The Social Welfare Department has implemented the Standardised Care Need Assessment Mechanism for Elderly Services since November 2000.  As February 28, 2009, 147,550 cases had been referred to the Mechanism for assessment.  Among these cases, assessment was completed for 134,770 cases, with 12,780 cases remaining.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) among the aforesaid cases for which assessment had not been completed, of the number of those in which the applicants had given up their turn for assessment, and whether it knows their reasons for that;

(b) among the above referrals, of the number of applicants who passed away while waiting for assessment;  

(c) of the average waiting time for assessment and the number of accredited assessors, broken down by the District Council districts in which the applicants reside;

(d) whether it has any plan to increase the number of accredited assessors; if so, how many accredited assessors will be increased in each district and of the implementation date; and

(e) of the mechanism for arranging priority assessment for applicants in emergency cases, the total number of applicants who have received priority assessment so far, and the means to enable the public to be aware of such a mechanism directly?


     My reply to the Hon Leung Kwok-hung's question is as follows:
(a) & (b)  Since November 2000, the Social Welfare Department (SWD) has implemented the Standardised Care Need Assessment Mechanism for Elderly Services (Standardised Assessment) to assess the long-term care needs of elders.  From the implementation of the Standardised Assessment to end-February 2009, altogether 134,770 assessment cases were completed, with another 449 elders waiting to be assessed or awaiting the assessment results.  At present, an assessment can be arranged within eight to ten days on average.  

     The 10,000 or so cases mentioned in the question are not cases waiting to be assessed.  These cases do not require assessment because of various reasons, including, among others, applications withdrawn by elders; applicants had to stay in hospitals for treatment or passed away while receiving treatment; or inaccurate contact information provided by applicants which makes SWD unable to arrange assessments for them.  SWD has not compiled separate statistics for cases caused by the reasons set out above.  

(c) Under the existing mechanism, elders in need may apply to receive the Standardised Assessment through various designated social service units under SWD, non-governmental organisations or the Hospital Authority.  Upon receipt of referrals from the above-mentioned service units, the Standardised Care Need Assessment Management Offices (Elderly Services) of SWD (SCNAMO) will immediately arrange accredited assessors to conduct assessments for the applicants.  It takes, on average, eight to ten days for SCNAMO to complete an assessment from the date of receiving a referral.  The time required for completing an assessment in different districts is more or less the same.

     As at end-April 2009, there were a total of 1,902 accredited assessors throughout the territory.  The number of accredited assessors, broken down by the five SCNAMO districts, is as follows:

   SCNAMO Districts    Number of Accredited Assessors
   ----------------    ------------------------------  
   Hong Kong Island                 450
   Kowloon East                     370
   Kowloon West                     315
   New Territories East             380
   New Territories West             387
   Total:                         1,902

(d) Since the introduction of the Standardised Assessment in 2000, SWD has been organising training courses for assessors on a regular basis, with a view to increasing the number of accredited assessors.  Altogether 92 training courses have been organised so far.  In 2009-10, SWD will organise five more training courses for assessors, providing 125 training places which will be evenly allocated among the five SCNAMO districts.

(e) As mentioned above, it takes, on average, eight to ten days for SCNAMO to complete an assessment from receiving a referral.  For applicants with special or urgent need for assessment, the referral unit can make an immediate request to SWD.  SCNAMO can arrange assessment for the applicant as early as within the same day.  SWD has not compiled statistics on the number of urgent assessment cases.

Ends/Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Issued at HKT 11:52


Print this page