The NHS should move away from traditional approaches to social care for older and disabled people and look to new approaches such as social enterprises and family-based care, according to a a report published today.
In the report, the National Association of Adult Placement Services (NAAPS UK) argues that the introduction of personal budgets and direct payments has not resulted in greater choice and control for people, as they still have a narrow list of care providers to choose from.
It particularly wants to see local authorities developing their Shared Lives (formerly Adult Placement) provision.
Shared Lives involves carers agreeing to include a vulnerable or frail adult in their family and community life. Often an older or disabled person goes to live with the Shared Lives family on a long-term or permanent basis.
The NAAPS UK report reveals Shared Lives can make 60% savings in comparison to residential care. Just 10 new long term arrangements could generate savings of between £23,400 (for older people) and £517,400 (for learning disabilities) each year, compared to traditional forms of residential care.
Alex Fox, chief executive officer of NAAPS UK, said: “We want to see councils and the NHS actively developing a range of providers, including small scale and family-based providers which have demonstrated themselves to be more efficient and lower cost through being tailored to individuals’ needs.
Richard Jones, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) said: “I welcome the challenge laid down by this report. It shows that highly personalised services such as Shared Lives, not always offered as a choice to older and disabled people, can make a real difference for individuals with needs which other services may not be able to meet affordably.”