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Adult social care information and advice toolkit: Theme 2. Improving your information base

The information base can be understood as comprising two elements: general information and local information.

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The information base can be understood as comprising two elements: general information and local information.

General information: overview

General information explains how social care works and what it does, much of which may be covered by universal content developed through our community of practice.

General information: existing resources

  • #SocialCareFuture has co-produced a vision for adult social care recognising “We all want to live in the place we call home, with the people and things we love, in communities where we look out for each other, doing the things that matter to us.” Their changing the story resources and Bryony Shannon’s rewriting social care blog can help councils reconceive their information and advice approaches and messaging.
  • NHS UK has a Social Care and Support Guide. Some ASC professionals have reflected that this is not entirely consistent with the Care Act, but it is useful to know how social care is described by the main NHS website.
  • Access Social Care has created AccessAva to help people find information and advice about their legal rights.
  • SCIE has developed easy read guides about advocacy.
  • Doncaster City Council is creating easy read material about advocacy and rights.
  • The Adult Social Care Glossary draws together definitions of key terms used in social care, including statutory definitions, professional definitions, data descriptors from key data collections such as SALT and CLD, and plain English definitions from Think Local Act Personal’s Jargon Buster.
  • The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) has funded co-production and development of Care Confidence information for older people organising and paying for social care in England. This will shortly include information about capital depletion and things to consider in advance of savings dropping to the upper capital limit.

Resources for information and advice about housing (responding to the Making it Real statements about information and advice about health, care and housing):

Resources to support improved information and advice about technology enabled care (TEC):

Local information: overview

Local information is about what is available in a local community to help and support people. Councils are encouraged to begin with the Care Act definition of Wellbeing, with the aim of enabling access to information about services, facilities and resources to promote every aspect of wellbeing.

Understanding your communities should inform the local content in your information base. What information do you hold about services/activities/resources for each of the key groups of people in your area – including people in multiple groups, such as unpaid carers with disabilities?

In this context, it is worth including a specific focus on services, facilities, and resources for unpaid carers. This includes (but is not limited to) when the person they care for is awaiting a needs assessment, at which point an unpaid carer may need all the community help and support they can get, both for the person they care for and for themselves.

Engaging with other council services and with external partners should be a key aspect of populating, extending, and maintaining your information base.

Local information: existing resources

  • Think Local Act Personal’s directory of innovations in community-centred support gives examples of innovative services which might be included in an information base. Many of these examples date back some years and may not operate in the same way now, but they are offered as a starting point for comparison with what is available in your area.