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14.04.16

Funding cuts will make personalised care harder to implement, MPs told

Personalised social care will improve the lives of recipients of adult social care but challenges to implementing it include funding and lack of staff, witnesses told a Public Accounts Committee inquiry yesterday.

David Pearson, director of adult social care at Nottinghamshire County Council, said that personalised care will allow recipients more autonomy and is vital for meeting the challenges of an ageing population.

“It’s not too fine a point to say it has transformed many people’s lives,” he said, citing a survey in which 80% of people said it made a significant difference to the quality of their care.

However, he warned that funding pressures on adult social care will make implementing personalised care more challenging, echoing findings from the LGA last month.

“The overall demographic demand outstrips the funding that’s coming in,” he said.

Elliot Dunster, group head of policy and research at disability charity Scope, added that additional challenges to implementing personalised care were the need to make sure that appropriate staff were available and to support disabled people as they coped with the challenges of becoming responsible for employing their carers.

Nadra Ahmed, executive chair of the National Care Association, said that care services had to be mindful of risked management of giving increased independence to care recipients.

“We have to remember some of the people who are making those choices are very, very vulnerable, and they remain vulnerable whether they are in a setting or outside,” she added.

As an example, she said that two young women who had been able to live alone as a result of personalised care gave their address and phone number to strangers they met in a pub and social services had to intervene.

However, Pearson said: “Having choice control is a risk, but it’s a risk worth taking.”

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