With more than a quarter of a million people living in care homes and 673,000 adults relying on social care support to live independently, it’s vital that people are able to get the best out of social care, as Healthwatch England reported.
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. Their social care survey in 2016 found that only 1 in 3 people who use social care services felt they had as much control as they wanted over their day-to-day life. This guideline is set to make a difference to people and their families and carers by making sure they get maximum support in terms of their social 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.