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Consultation on the New National Health and Care Standards: Analysis of Responses


6. Views on proposed Standard 3: I am confident in the people who support and care for me

Question 5: To what extent do you think this Standard describes what people should expect to experience from health, care and social work services?

6.1 389 (88%) respondents to the full consultation and 56 (95%) respondents to the easy-read consultation answered this question.

6.2 Table 5 in Annex 1 shows views by category of respondent to the full consultation. Table 6.1 below summarises these views.

Table 6.1: Views on the extent to which Standard 3 describes what people should expect to experience from health, care and social work services: full consultation

View No. of respondents % of all respondents*
Strongly agree 179 46
Agree 170 44
Neither agree nor disagree 26 7
Disagree 14 4
Total respondents 389 100

*Percentages may not total 100% exactly due to rounding.

6.3 90% of those who provided a view strongly agreed or agreed that Standard 3 describes what people should expect to experience from health, care and social work services. Individual respondents expressed stronger support than organisations with 55% of the former, compared with 38% of the latter, strongly agreeing with the statement. Relatively few (4%) respondents disagreed.

6.4 Views of those responding to the easy-read version of the consultation are summarised in Table 6.2 below.

6.5 All but 2 of the respondents who answered this question in the easy-read version of the consultation agreed a bit or agreed fully with Standard 3.

Table 6.2: Views on the extent to which Standard 3 describes what people should expect to experience from health, care and social work services: easy-read consultation

View No. of respondents % of all respondents
Yes, agree with this standard 50 89
Agree a bit with this standard 3 5
Mixed - some agree and some agree a bit (reflecting group views) 1 2
No - disagree with this standard 2 4
Total respondents 56 100

General views in favour of Standard 3

6.6 There were many favourable comments about Standard 3 as a whole and key elements within. What was perceived as the person-centred approach was welcomed; the emphasis on communication and relationships was valued; links with a wider context of guidance and legislation were identified.

6.7 The layout of the section was viewed as helpful to providers, with a few respondents praising what they perceived to be well-worded statements.

6.8 The Standard was seen to provide reassurance about provision for those most vulnerable both in its title, and also under sections such as "Compassion".

Broad concerns about Standard 3

6.9 In contrast to those who welcomed the title, a few respondents considered it to be vague and lacking in meaning. One service user commented that confidence is something which has to be earned over time and may vary, therefore it cannot be presented as a discrete given. Others suggested that the word "trust" be incorporated into the heading to give it more rigour.

6.10 A common view was that the aims of the Standard are laudable but require resourcing and appear difficult to ensure and enforce.

6.11 Concerns over vague language were expressed repeatedly by organisations and individuals working in the sectors, with phrases and words such as, "courteous and respectful", "consistent boundaries", "warmth", "helped to feel content" attracting particular criticism.

6.12 An emerging theme, particularly amongst those working in health and social care, was that delivery of this Standard should be underpinned by a robust framework of training for paid and unpaid workers. The Standard was viewed as assuming that workers have professional knowledge, which respondents suggested may not be the case, and which could be addressed through access to appropriate training and career development.

6.13 Many respondents queried how aspects of the Standard would be measured and assessed, with examples requested.

6.14 A recurring view was that some of the statements may raise expectations unduly, as restrictions on resources and other practicalities will limit delivery of some aspects.

6.15 Some respondents requested that issues of communication be re-visited in the Standard against the background of the workforce including many workers for whom English is not their first language, and the severe communication challenges experienced by some service users.

6.16 Whilst many considered that this Standard in particular was relevant across many settings, those respondents representing secure care including prisons, felt that some of the statements were not appropriate for them.

6.17 A question was raised over whether childminders' issues are reflected best by Standard 3 (as they work by themselves), or Standard 4 (as they themselves may be the organisation).

Summary of comments relating to each descriptive statement

6.18 More detailed comments were made relating to individual descriptive statements and are summarised in Annex 2, Table 3.

Views on omissions from the Standard

6.19 The main omissions suggested were:

  • Knowledge of feedback/complaint mechanisms. Although covered elsewhere, these should be referenced here.
  • Right of patient appeal.
  • Statutory right to advocacy.
  • Issues of safer recruitment.
  • Separation of issues for regular users of care from those of occasional users of care.
  • Support at transitions. For example, "I am supported in ways that are going to help me prepare for change that occurs in my life".
  • Explicit reassurances regarding confidentiality of data and protocols for sharing this.
  • Statement relating to respecting language and cultural preferences.