Adult Social Services Environments and Settings (ASSET)

ASSET was an independent research project that was commissioned and funded by the Department of Health’s NIHR School for Social Care Research.

The project ran from February 2012 to January 2014 and was led by Association for Dementia Studies in partnership with the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) at the University of Kent, the School for Policy Studies at the University of Bristol, Housing and Care 21 and the Housing Learning and Improvement Network. The overall aim of the project was to explore how best to provide adult social care in housing with care schemes in England, in order to maximise quality of life for residents and make the best use of resources. The project comprised three main stages: a review of what is already known about adult social care and housing with care; surveys of adult social care providers and housing with care organisations to identify what models of working are in use; and case studies of housing with care schemes to explore in detail how they work with adult social care, the experiences of residents and relatives of receiving services, and the cost of different models of care.

Key findings from this research include:

  • For some older people a move to housing with care is associated with a better quality of life when compared with living in mainstream housing. Local authority approaches to commissioning adult social care were shown to vary considerably in response to a complex range of drivers including public spending cuts, welfare reforms, the personalisation agenda and changing aspirations for later life.
  • There is an urgent need to provide better financial information to current and prospective residents and their families. This could include information on personal budgets, direct payments and charging arrangements.
  • The housing with care model can support residents who are very diverse in terms of their abilities, needs and care packages, including those not receiving any planned care