Andy Tilden, interim CEO at Skills for Care

May 2019

What this report reinforces is Skills for Care’s view that a skilled and knowledgeable workforce will be pivotal in making sure that people who need care and support in our communities can access services that will support them to live full lives in the way they want.

That might be enabling an older person to maintain their dignity or supporting a young adult with learning disabilities to be an active member of their local community. It is true that adult social care is, in the general public’s eye, an often invisible support system that can empower people to live life as independently as they can.

It is also true that improving outcomes for people supported by the social care workforce is nuanced. What constitutes a good care outcome is dependent on many factors, so what the person with care and support needs knows is a good outcome for them will not always be the same as a family member(s) perspective, or those supporting that individual.

Making sure workers in adult social care get the best out  of NICE guidelines and quality standards is about framing guidance in a way that gives people the knowledge they need so they then have the confidence to act. The NICE social care quick guides provide evidence led information that will assist care workers in their decision making.

Looking at the work described in this report, both commissioners and providers have demonstrated how NICE quality standards can be used alongside CQC Key Lines of Enquiry to assess and improve standards of care and support. Sometimes it’s about confirming that existing practice is  of good quality, and at other times it’s about challenging commissioners and providers to think and behave differently.

Skills for Care is an active NICE partner, locally and nationally, with a range of support and resources for social care employers and commissioners on our website that, when used alongside NICE guidance, can assist employers and commissioners with decision making around the issues raised in this report.