Adults who use social care services, and those of their partner agencies, are at the centre of the personalisation agenda and the Care Act 2014. Feedback from adults and carers who use services about their service experience and outcomes that were or were not achieved, are also areas of increasing focus.
Adult service users should be involved at each level of development, delivery, and review of care and support services in order to:
- ensure that services are developed to meet the care and support needs of adults;
- ensure that the services which are provided are of good quality;
- ensure positive outcomes for those who use the service.
Service commissioners should ensure that adult service users can:
- have their views considered in the development of new strategies and services;
- contribute to the review and performance management of existing strategies and services;
- receive information on planning and delivering of new services in an accessible and jargon-free format;
- contribute to meetings and decision making where practicable. This may include practical support (for example, reimbursement of expenses; considering the time and venue for meetings) and other assistance (for example help to deal with jargon, stress, power imbalances);
- access appropriate training and mentoring support to enable them to contribute to planning arenas.
Social workers and service providers should ensure service users:
- have easy access to a charter on their rights and responsibilities within the service;
- have easy access to clear information on all the services available (see Information and Advice chapter);
- have access to information on their care and support options (see Care and Support Planning chapter);
- are fully involved in the assessment process and development and review of their individual care plan and have their needs, wishes and goals incorporated into their plan (see Assessment chapter);
- receive information on how to make comments, complaints and compliments about the service they receive (see Complaints chapter);
- Contribute to the evaluation of the service.
User led organisations (ULOs) are one approach to facilitating user involvement as referenced in the Care and Support Statutory Guidance 2014. ULOs are organisations that are run by and controlled by people who use care and support services, including disabled people of any impairment, older people, and families and carers. See also A commissioner’s guide to developing and sustaining local user-led organisations (SCIE).