User Experience of Social Care
If the future delivery model for social care needs to be set in the context of redefining the roles
of the individual, family and state, it is important to understand the views of the local people in
Barnet who are in receipt of social care services or potential customers in order to inform future
On an annual basis, Adult Social Services conducts a user satisfaction survey to examine the
experience of service users in a particular area of service. The results and feedback from the
last three surveys are included in the appendix. Emerging from these survey results and
feedback to other specific service consultations including day services for people with a
physical and sensory impairment, the following themes emerge
• People want and need more information about what is happening at different stages of
service delivery e.g. from identifying need for equipment to installation so that they can
take control of their lives
• Less delays in receiving a service, and follow-up calls once they have started receiving a
• People in receipt of social care feel more socially isolated, are concerned for their
personal safety and have reduce ability to travel to places that they would like to go to.
This contributes to a feeling of a reduced lack of control over daily life.
• That there are a wider variety of services provided locally but people need to be better
signposted to them in order to access them – if you do not know what is out there you
cannot be expected to use it.
• Good social care should support people and carers to access employment and carers
support services need to be prioritised especially breaks to allow carers to continue to
stay in paid work.
Between 05/09/08 and 14/11/08, the London Borough of Barnet facilitated a public discussion
on the strategic proposals to change assessment and care management practice to give
people more choice and control through personal budgets. This included a questionnaire and
an open debate on 02/10/08.
• Getting good and reliable access to social care was a strong theme through a one stop
shop approach. People want to be able to access services without the need for face to
face assessments with widespread support for quite significant services, such as short
breaks, home care and occupational therapy equipment being provided on the basis of
the phone assessments
• There was support for providing information via the internet – interestingly more people
stated that they would like information online than by phone.
• People appeared to see the benefit of introducing short-term ‘enablement’ packages of
care. They suggested a wide range of services that could be included in such packages.
Interestingly, there was a focus on services that would not sit in a normal ‘enablement
homecare’ package – such as accessing occupational therapy equipment and helping
people develop social networks.
• People had a very balanced view of the advantages and disadvantages of personal
budgets. Many people reaffirmed the belief that it would help make people more
independent and give them more control and choice over their support. Common
concerns about the budgets centred on the new risks they introduce for things to go
wrong – either because managing them is too stressful for individuals or carers, or that
the people managing them fail to cope with the responsibility and make poor care
management or financial decisions. The debate showed that people needed more detail
before they could be fully comfortable with the idea.
• People were open to the idea of groups other than the council supporting people to plan
their care. The perceived benefits of this were that it increased people’s independence,
choice and control. By contrast, the perceived risks focussed on those people involved
having insufficient expertise to assist people needing social services effectively. A very
wide range of groups were put forward as having the ability to get involved in this
process. The most commonly mentioned ones were family, friends, 3rd sector
organisations, and health professionals.