Services exist to care, not scare: ADASS

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Monday 25th February 2013
Embargo: 00.01 hrs Tuesday 26th February 2013

The Alzheimer's Society report published today* is a `timely reminder that, despite the acute financial difficulties facing all sectors of the UK economy, there can be no excuse for failing to protect people with dementia in care homes from abuse, or of failing to treat them with decency and dignity at all times, and helping them to `live well with dementia.

According to ADASS President Sarah Pickup, Directors of Adult Social Services are doing all they can to work with:

  • PARTNERS in the private care sector and the NHS to promote effective ways of communicating with, supporting and caring for people with dementia and their families and carers whether people live in their own homes or in care homes.
  • PARTNERS in the regulatory sector to explore ways in which older people especially those with dementia - and their families and carers can be reassured that care is being provided to the highest standards possible. She said: "the probable re-emergence of some kite-marking of care homes, currently under discussion, will be an important way of helping families and their loved ones understand, compare and assess providers more easily."
  • PARTNERS in the major professional and training agencies, as well as the care sector, to find ways of jacking up the quality and quantity of care worker training.
  • PARTNERS across the medical and nursing professions, finding ways in which closer, integrated working can provide better services for everyone in care homes and hospital more efficiently and more effectively.

She said that ADASS was 'seriously concerned at the surveys finding which suggests that older people are increasingly apprehensive at the prospect of entering a care environment.

"We, and our colleagues in the health and other services, exist for no reason other than to care for people, not to scare them. It is a worrying blight on our efforts if a growing number of people are scared of what we provide. We must all, throughout the social care sector, seek to ensure that the high standards of security and happiness experienced by the vast majority of people in care homes is better portrayed and communicated.

"And that where standards are discovered to be falling, remedial action is taken swiftly, purposefully, and appropriately."

ENDS

For further information contact:
Sarah Pickup, ADASS President, 01992 503600
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Adviser, 020 84348 5023/07976 837755

* Low Expectations: Attitudes on choice, care and community for people with dementia in care homes is available at www.alzheimers.org.uk/lowexpectations?

FOLLOW ADASS ON TWITTER AT @ADASSdclode and ADASSspickup

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. Nearly 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 Department of Health survey of adult social care 2010/2011 showed that:

* 62% of service users who responded said that they were extremely or very satisfied with the care and support services they receive.

*28% said they were quite satisfied, 7% said they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied and the remaining 3% said they were dissatisfied.

*26% reported their quality of life was so good, it could not be better or very good.

* 31% reported it was good, and

*33% reported it was alright.

* 10% reported their quality of life was either bad, very bad or so bad it could not be worse

See full results here.