People’s experience using adult social care services

Clinical guidelines
Date Published:
04 March 2019
Last updated: 
04 March 2019

This NICE quality standard (QS182) covers the experience of adults using social care services and is endorsed by the BGS. It applies to all settings where people use social care services, including people's own homes, residential care and community settings. Its aim is to help people understand what care they can expect and to improve their experience by supporting them to make decisions about their care. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.


NICE quality standards describe high-priority areas for quality improvement in a defined care or service area. Each standard consists of a prioritised set of specific, concise and measurable statements. NICE quality standards draw on existing NICE or NICE-accredited guidance that provides an underpinning, comprehensive set of recommendations, and are designed to support the measurement of improvement.

Expected levels of achievement for quality measures are not specified. Quality standards are intended to drive up the quality of care, and so achievement levels of 100% should be aspired to (or 0% if the quality statement states that something should not be done). However, this may not always be appropriate in practice. Taking account of safety, shared decision-making, choice and professional judgement, desired levels of achievement should be defined locally.

Information about how NICE quality standards are developed is available from the NICE website.

See quality standard advisory committees on the website for details of standing committee 3 members who advised on this quality standard. Information about the topic experts invited to join the standing members is available on the quality standard's webpage.

This quality standard has been included in the NICE Pathway on people's experience in adult social care services, which brings together everything we have said on this topic in an interactive flowchart.

NICE has produced a quality standard service improvement template to help providers make an initial assessment of their service compared with a selection of quality statements. This tool is updated monthly to include new quality standards.

NICE produces guidance, standards and information on commissioning and providing high-quality healthcare, social care, and public health services. We have agreements to provide certain NICE services to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Decisions on how NICE guidance and other products apply in those countries are made by ministers in the Welsh government, Scottish government, and Northern Ireland Executive. NICE guidance or other products may include references to organisations or people responsible for commissioning or providing care that may be relevant only to England.

This quality standard is expected to contribute to improvements in the following outcomes for people using adult social care services:

  • Promotion of independence and quality of life

  • Experience of people using adult social care services

  • Choice and control using adult social care services.


It is also expected to support delivery of the Department of Health and Social Care outcome frameworks:

  • Statement 1: People's personal strengths, preferences, aspirations and needs are discussed when they have a care and support needs assessment.
  • Statement 2: People using adult social care services have as much control as they would like over their personal budget.
  • Statement 3: People using adult social care services have continuity of care and support.
  • Statement 4: People using adult social care services have their views used to inform service improvement.

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