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Councils urged to give adults in care greater control over their lives

New guidelines unveiled this week has urged councils to help adults in care have more control over day-to-day tasks like cooking and cleaning.

The new measures drawn up by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) say that adults who need social care should feel in control and be able to live life in the way they want.

It follows a report by Healthwatch earlier this month that underlined major concerns that dignity and choice were not being suitably preserved in care homes across England.

And it also follows a survey from NHS Digital in 2016 that stated that only a third of adults using social care services felt they had as much control as they wanted over their daily lives.

In the guidelines, NICE state that staff should avoid making assumptions about a person’s capacity to be in control of their own care, and have also suggested that communication aids such as a picture books could be useful in helping people express their views.

Professor Mark Baker, director of the NICE centre for guidelines, said: “Social care is personal, it is about helping people live their life as they want.

“Our committee looked at the views of people using social care services to find out what they really valued, such as having more control in how their care is planned,” he added. “We have issued a set of draft recommendations to help providers deliver the care that people want and need.”

The NICE guidelines cover any area where adults receive social care, including people’s own homes, residential care and community settings.

The organisation also goes on explain that local authorities should avoid involving people in decision-making outside of their direct care – such as letting people sit on interview panels when recruiting and training staff.

And Alice Maynard who chaired the group that developed the NICE guideline also commented: “Those of us who use social care services need them to be able to live an ordinary life.

“If services are not delivered well, our lives become difficult at best and worthless at worst. This guideline sets out what good social care should be.

“We have issued a set of recommendations we believe will allow people to live ordinary, dignified, worthwhile lives.”

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