Good adult social care helps people to live their lives well, with dignity and independence, protecting their human rights.
But the social care system in England and Wales is struggling. Local authorities face huge pressures when making decisions about people’s access to care, balancing people’s needs and tight budgets. If care needs are not met, the consequences can be significant. People may be left without the support they need to maintain their personal hygiene or good living conditions. Some may have to leave their home and receive care elsewhere. That’s why people must be able to challenge local authority decisions about adult social care if they have concerns.
A new report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission looks at evidence from individuals and carers (who have challenged, or wanted to challenge, decisions about social care), professionals working in social care, and local authorities.
The primary evidence included the following:
– a detailed survey of 153 local authorities (out of an eligible 174) with responsibility for adult social care (133 in England and 20 in Wales); followed by in-depth interviews with 12 authorities, spread across different regions, to understand the processes and practices of local authorities
– a self-selecting survey of 332 individuals who are accessing adult social care, and their representatives and carers
– 41 in-depth interviews with those seeking or accessing care and their carers
– 54 in-depth interviews and 12 focus-group discussions with a wide range of individuals and organisations; including professionals working in social care, advocacy providers, older and disabled people’s organisations, statutory bodies, professional associations and legal experts, and
– 15 written submissions from organisations and experts