People using social care need more choice and control

NICE draft guidance urges service users to have control over the care they receive

Published on 25th August 2017

Local authorities in England need to help adults using social care services to have more control over day-to-day tasks, NICE has urged.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence said adults who need social care should feel in control and be able to live life as they want.

Professor Mark Baker, director of the NICE centre for guidelines said: “Social care is personal, it is about helping people live their life as they want. Our committee looked at the views of people using social care services to find out what they really valued, such as having more control in how their care is planned. We have issued a set of draft recommendations to help providers deliver the care that people want and need.”

In a new guideline, out for public consultation, NICE says staff should avoid making assumptions about a person’s capacity to be in control of their own care, for example, if they are severely disabled.

The guideline also includes recommendations on assessing people’s needs in line with statutory requirements and planning care.

The guidance highlights research which found that where there is a genuine working partnership between patients and occupational therapists where user choice and control exist, creative and satisfactory solutions can be found.

The advice covers adults receiving social care in their own homes, residential care and community settings. NICE says that local authorities should try to involve people in decision-making outside of their direct care. For example, people should sit on interview panels when recruiting and training staff. Or it could include receiving information from people currently using services or reviewing existing complaints.

In 2015-16, there were more than 800,000 people receiving long-term adult social care support in England. During this time services also responded to a further 1.8 million new requests for care and support

In 2016, only a third of adults using social care services (33%) felt they had as much control as they wanted over their daily life.

NICE is seeking comments on the draft guideline, the public consultation will run until 3 October 2017.



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