Information for the public

Using adult social care services: the care you should expect

Many people rely on social care services for extra support to live their lives, whether they live independently at home or in supported living or residential care. However, a social care survey in 2016 found that only 1 in 3 people who use social care services felt they had as much control as they wanted over their day-to-day life. We want this guideline to make a difference to people and their families and carers by making sure:  

  • everyone who uses social care services can live their life with dignity and independence
  • care is planned more flexibly around what people want and need, because no 2 people need the same care
  • people are clear about what types of care are available and the minimum care they can expect to have
  • people have more control over how their care is provided and paid for
  • staff providing care develop good relationships with the people they support
  • providers of social care ask people and their families for their views, and use these to train staff and improve services.

Making decisions together

Decisions are best when they are made together. Professionals should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. They should also:

  • find out what matters to you and what support you need to live the life you choose
  • give you information to make your own decisions, never assuming that you cannot decide for yourself
  • involve your family and carers too, if you are happy with this
  • help you get your views across, for example using communication aids or by providing an advocate.

Tell your professional if you can’t understand the information you are given.

Read more about making decisions about your care.

Where can I find out more?

Find your nearest local Healthwatch.

The organisations below can give you more advice and support.

NICE is not responsible for the content of these websites.

We wrote this guideline with people who use adult social care services and staff who support them. All the decisions are based on the best research available.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-2817-0

This page was last updated: