Summary of report content
The subject of this report was chosen following a consultation exercise with the public as part of our annual priority-setting exercise. During that work, the public told us they felt it was important for us to focus on this topic.
We engaged in several ways. There was a survey of users of the ASCD service, and a listening event with unpaid carers, the public and voluntary and community sector organisations. We also surveyed GP practice staff referring people to ASCD. This gave us views from a wide variety of users on the effectiveness of the service and suggestions for how it could be enhanced. Some people felt there had been some improvements since the internal review in autumn 2018. However, there were areas which could be improved further. People who responded to our survey told us that, when signposted to other services, it was generally to the correct person or organisation to meet their needs. The service overall was rated as very good or good. However, some professionals told us that there were inconsistencies in advice and support and outcomes varied depending on who was responding to the query. This sometimes resulted in re-referrals being necessary. Online forms were introduced in October 2018 to take pressure off the ASCD telephone service. Most of our respondents used the telephone service. It appears that some people were not aware of the option for online referrals. Those who had used the online forms found them difficult to complete and suggested improvements. 2 The respondents to our information-gathering showed that everyone, except one person, who completed the demographic section of the monitoring form was white British. We believe this needs to be explored further by ASCD so it can be certain that the service is known to and being accessed by all who need support, avoiding inequalities in social care service provision. Further details of how we engaged, our findings and recommendations can be found in the relevant sections of this report.