Service users need to be supported to maintain independence

NICE guidelines on adult social care says service users should be treated as individuals

Published on 22nd February 2018

Every service user using adult social care should be treated as an individual, new guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence concludes.

Professionals in adult social care, including occupational therapists, should use each person's self-defined strengths, preferences, aspirations and needs as the basis on which to provide care and support to live an independent life.

“People need to be supported to maintain their independence. This means finding out what people want from their life, and providing the support and assistance they need to do this,” says the NICE guidance.

In 2015–16, there were over 800,000 people receiving long-term care and support from adult social care. Services also responded to a further 1.8 million new requests for care and support (including short-term support).

In 2016, 64% of respondents to the annual personal social services adult social care survey said they were either extremely or very satisfied with the care and support they received. However, only 33% said that they had as much control as they wanted over their daily life; 18% said they had some, but not enough, control and 6% had no control at all.

This guideline is developed in a context of working towards better integration of health and social care and seeks to improve the experience of care and support for people using adult social care services.

The guidance urges professionals to:

  • Respect people's right to make their own decisions,
  • Not make assumptions about people's capacity to be in control of their own care and support,
  • Actively involve the person in all decisions that affect them.
  • Provide support to people, if they need it, to express their views, preferences and aspirations in relation to their care and support.

NICE states that everyone with social care needs should have access to services based on their needs, taking account of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation, and socio-economic status or other aspects of their identity. Service providers should be aware of the cultural and religious needs of people who use services, and provide care and support that meets these needs.

In line with the Care Act 2014, local authorities must provide information about care and support services for people and their carers, including the types of care and support available, how to access care and support, including eligibility criteria, how to get financial advice about care and support, local safeguarding procedures, rights and entitlements to assessments and care and support services and personal budgets.

Local authorities must ensure that care and support needs assessment under the Care Act 2014 focuses on the person's needs and how they impact on their wellbeing, and the outcomes they want to achieve in their day-to-day life. This should be aimed at promoting their interests and independence, be respectful of their dignity and take into account the person's housing status, and where and who they want to live with.

People's experience in adult social care services: improving the experience of care and support for people using adult social care services



Share this article:

Back to top
Subscribe to Locum Today
Post a comment

Receive the latest interviews, features and news stories in the Locum Today monthly email newsletter, designed and produced for locum social workers in the UK.

Type in your email address below and click Subscribe.

Leave a comment

Latest articles

10 things you should think about before becoming a locum social worker

10 things you should think about before becoming a locum social worker

Published on 07 January 2016

BASW professional officer Sue Kent and Tricia Gbinigie, business development officer for Independent and Locum Social Workers at BASW provide their Top 10 Tips on things to consider before becoming a locum or independent social worker.

10 Top Tips for successful report writing

10 Top Tips for successful report writing

Published on 10 December 2015

Sue Kent, professional officer at BASW, provides locum social workers with 10 Top Tips for successful report writing.