In 2018 the government set out seven principles to guide thinking on social care, with the first principle being that quality and safety are embedded in service provision. The care and support white paper, Caring For Our Future, states that a high-quality service must be one that keeps people safe from harm, and that services need to safeguard adults whose circumstances make them vulnerable and protect them from avoidable harm.
The Personal Social Services Adult Social Care Survey asks adults who are receiving long-term support from social services about their experiences. It is designed to help the adult social care sector understand more about the impact of services, to enable service user choice and inform service development. The survey asks people whether care and support services help them feel safe.
The Personal Social Services Adult Social Care Survey (ASCS) asks service users if care and support services help them feel safe. Between 2014-15 and 2019-20, the proportion of service users who responded “Yes” they do help them feel safe increased slightly from 85% to 87%.
The 2020-21 survey was voluntary and only 18 councils took part, limiting comparability to previous years. Questionnaires were distributed to a random sample of service users between January and March 2021. 88% of service users said that care and support services help them in feeling safe, a statistically significant increase on the previous year.
An additional question on safety was asked in 2020-21, “Thinking about your experiences during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which of the following best describes how safe you feel?”. 66% responded “I feel as safe as I want”, but 6.1% said “I feel less than adequately safe” and 2.1% said “I do not feel safe at all”.
About this data
This indicator uses data from the Personal Social Services Adult Social Care Survey (ASCS) – an annual survey for England that took place for the eleventh time in 2020-21. The survey covers all service users aged 18 and over who are receiving, at the point that data is extracted, long-term support services funded or managed by social services following a full assessment of need.
Data prior to 2014-15 has not been included due to changes in the weighting methodology and the eligible population for the ASCS. These changes resulted in a break in the time series and figures from 2014-15 onwards are not directly comparable to figures from surveys prior to this.
The 2020-21 survey was voluntary and as not all councils took part in the survey, care needs to be taken when comparing the data to previous years.