ADASS survey shows personalised social services being offered to more and more users

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Tuesday 10 September 2013
Embargo: 00.01 Wednesday 11 September 2013

As senior social care managers, civil servants and politicians gather at a `personalisation summit today to consider progress, an Association of Directors of Adult Social Services survey shows that in 2012/13 local authorities have continued to move forward apace with personalising their services and support for individuals despite facing significant financial pressures, according to ADASS President Sandie Keene.

She added: the overwhelming evidence from local authorities demonstrates that, overall, the substantial majority of social care departments are providing personalised social care services to well over two thirds of eligible individuals, although there is still further to go to make sure that personalisation becomes a reality for all.

One of the biggest challenges still facing the continued expansion of personalisation is the development of a suitably diverse market to meet individual preferences, she said - Only 70 per cent of councils are reporting that there was a diverse  and culturally sensitive market available to meet individual choices and needs.

On top of that Mrs Keene welcomed the fact that early findings of the survey show that the social care workforce is well-equipped to deliver personalisation and that accurate, reliable information is being made available to help individuals make informed choices about how their needs can be met.

Councils are stating that 76 per cent of all eligible adults received personalised services and support. Ninety-one of these (73 per cent of respondents) reported that over 70 per cent of eligible adults in their authorities received personalised services and support in 2012/13. Of these, 33 councils (26 per cent of respondents) said that more than 90 per cent of all eligible adults received personalised services and support.

Mrs Keene said the figures, demonstrate the commitment our members and their colleagues have shown to the cause of ensuring that wherever possible individuals who come to social services are helped and supported to be in far greater control of the type of services they receive and who provides it.

Other pointers from the survey include:

* A total of £3.3 bn was allocated in personal budgets in 2012/13, 30 per cent as Direct Payments and 70 per cent as council-managed Budgets.

* 18 per cent of all personal budgets were for less than £1,000 pa, whereas 29 per cent were for more than £10,000 pa and 53 per cent were between these two amounts.

* 84 per cent of councils offered advisory services to assist individuals to think through their options and secure the right solution for themselves.

Mrs Keene ended: Only 11 councils reported that fewer than 50 per cent of all eligible adults received personalised services and support in 2012/13, and in nearly all of these cases movement in the right direction had been secured over figures for 2011/12.

Further advice, support and help is being provided on a one-to-one basis to the local authorities concerned with a view to ensuring that the momentum they have already maintained towards improvement is enhanced.

ENDS

For further information contact:
Sandie Keene, President, ADASS 01132 478700
Drew Clode, ADASS Media/Policy Adviser 020 8348 5023/07976 837755

Pictures of Mrs Keene available on request

Editorial Notes

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) represents directors and senior managers of adult social services departments in English local authorities. Directors (DASSs) have statutory responsibilities for the social care of older people, adults with disabilities and adults with mental health needs.

In many authorities ADASS members will also share a number of responsibilities for the provision and/or commissioning of housing, leisure, libraries, culture, and community safety on behalf of their councils. More than a third of DASSs are also the statutory director of childrens services for their authority.

A personal budget is a clear, upfront amount of funding from adult social care which individuals can spend on the services and support they need to help them live more independently. It can be used to buy services from both the council and other providers, mixing and matching whats available from different organisations.

Anyone aged 18 or over who is eligible for social care support can have a personal budget - but it is down to individuals whether they manage their budget themselves or whether someone else does this on their behalf.

* The survey was carried out between June and July, 2013. The analysis has been based upon a response rate of 83 per cent of councils (126 out of 152). Percentages used are of the number of respondents. Councils were asked to detail their performance in 2012/13 against an ADASS measure of personalisation focusing on long term personalised services rather than ad-hoc one-off services or support.

* Further highlights from the survey are available on request, although the full report and narrative will not be published until next month.