Supporting Independent Living
also known as: Disabled people, Physical disability.
This page provides information on the need to support people with long term conditions to be more independent and have full choice and control over their lives.
One of the five key priorities in the Health and Wellbeing
Strategy focuses on supporting people with long term conditions to
be independent and have control.
Developing a co-ordinated, effective and personalised response
to the needs of adults with disabling long-term health conditions
is a central challenge for the health and social care system, and
for wider public services. We will concentrate, in particular,
- developing reablement and rehabilitation services to reduce
people’s long-term support needs.
- integrating co-ordination of community support for people with
- developing a system of personal budgets for long-term health
and social care.
- making telecare and telehealth available to those who can
benefit from them.
Why has this been identified as a priority?
The JSNA has identified that adults with long-term health
conditions are now the predominant users of NHS services. Almost
all of the users of adult social care have disabilities or
disabling long-term conditions. In addition:
- The numbers of adults with disabilities or long-term health
conditions are projected to increase. This includes people with
conditions associated with old age, due to increased life
expectancy, and young adults with complex disabilities, due to
improved medical care increasing survival rates.
- There are relatively high levels of usage of institutional
forms of service to support disabling conditions. A risk-averse
culture in many services has resulted in forms of support that can
undermine people's independence.
- Organisational and financial arrangements have often
prioritised responding to health and social crises over effective
continuing support and monitoring to prevent crises from
- There are rising expectations about the extent to which
disabled people should be supported to be in control of their own
lives, and to have the same choices as others.
What will be done differently?
Commissioning arrangements for health and social care support
for people with long-term conditions need to be fully integrated,
to ensure that people get more coherent, and therefore more
effective and accessible, support. There will also be a greater
emphasis on understanding carers’ needs, and making sure that they
are able to play a full part in designing support arrangements.
Funding mechanisms will be redesigned to remove unnecessary
obstacles to transferring resources from crisis response into forms
of support which maintain people's independence. We will work to
change the risk adverse culture among professionals and in the
wider community so that people are not over-protected in a way that
undermines their independence. These changes will require resources
to be shifted from hospitals to the community and from treatment
episodes to long-term coordinated support.
What impact will be made?
- People with long-term conditions will feel more in control of
their support, will be clearer about who they need to talk to when
there are problems, and be less likely to experience emergency
hospital admissions or institutional care.
- Disabled people will become more widely visible in the
community and community attitudes to risk and independence will
Key Documents & Links
The following information and priorities are taken from
the baseline JSNA and update (2012). The content of this section is
currently being updated therefore some of the data and documents
may be out of date.