Responding to a report published today by National Voices on 'person-centred care' relating to NHS and adult social care services, Glen Garrod, Vice President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), said:

"ADASS has been a champion of personalisation since its inception and it’s encouraging to see that despite growing financial pressures, the hard work of councils to give people receiving adult social care and informal care greater choice and control to help them lead independent, fulfilling lives, is having a positive impact.

"At the same time we are aware there is always more to do, as the report highlights, and are encouraging our members to do so. During a climate of austerity, councils are investigating new care models making best use of informal networks, friends, family and volunteers as part of their wider community offer, to provide distinctive, valued and personal care.

"For anyone in need of social care they should expect to be actively involved in deciding how any funding is managed and how best to spend it to meet their needs and achieve their agreed outcomes, however, progress on delivering personalised care and support can be compromised by acute pressures on council budgets.

"A number of councils are working closely with local health colleagues to extend personalisation and personal budgets to combine money for social care and health into one. There are excellent examples of what real integration of health and care services for people can do which holds the promise of accelerating the delivery of personalisation, through integrated personal budgets, tailored to the individual’s needs and focused on outcomes rather than the organisational structures or settings in which care is delivered. More work in this area is needed, as the report highlights.

"Maintaining a caring, compassionate and trained workforce is also essential for people to develop personalised care and support services. Councils, providers, commissioners, our NHS colleagues and the Government need to work closer to address the workforce recognition, recruitment and retention issues, to enable personalised care to be offered to all.”