With more than a quarter of a million people living in care homes (current estimates are around 400,000) and a further estimated 608,145 adults relying on social care support to live independently, it’s vital that people are able to get the best out of social care.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has developed guidance to help make you and social care professionals understand what care people can expect and how to support you to make decisions about your own care.
What should your care look like?
NICE has set out six key things you should expect from social care services:
- You should be able to live your life with dignity and independence.
- Your care should be planned flexibly around what you want and need.
- You should understand what types of care are available, and the minimum care you can expect to have.
- You should have control over how your care is provided and paid for.
- The staff providing care should develop good relationships with you.
- Providers of social care should ask you and your family for your views, and use these to train staff and improve services.
Having a say in your care
It’s important that professionals involve you in any decisions about your care. They should give you clear information about your different options and listen to your worries.
They should also:
- Find out what matters to you and what support you need to live the life you choose.
- Give you information to make your own decisions, never assuming that you cannot decide for yourself.
- Involve your family and carers too, if you are happy with this
- Help you get your views across, for example using communication aids or by providing an advocate.
Did your experience of social care meet all six points?
If you or a family member has used social care, let us know whether the service met these guidelines. Speak to your local Healthwatch and share your ideas for how social care services could improve in your area.
NICE's quality standard
NICE's new quality standard (2019), "people's experience using adult social care services" looks at what high quality care should look like and what people should expect when using social care. Read the guidance in full to find out more.