Older carers of people with learning disabilities: their experiences with local authority assessment processes and personnel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - Amongst other actions the Care Act 2014 emphasised the duties of local authorities to assess the needs of carers as well as those they care for, and to meet all eligible needs for support. This paper aims to report the findings of a study which explored the experiences of older carers of people with learning disabilities as they navigated local authority assessment processes and personnel.
Design/methodology/approach - Using an explorative design, 21 older carers were interviewed about their experiences. Interview transcripts were qualitatively analysed.
Findings - Three main themes were identified: needs assessments as ambitions not outcomes; the effects of funding-cuts projected onto carers; and challenges with social care personnel.
Originality/value - The study findings attracted a high level of engagement with public awareness and mainstream news and social media. The local authority also immediately responded with interventions to address some of the findings, including carer ‘drop-in’ sessions. They are also adapting their carer’s needs assessment processes as a result of the study. It is hoped that the issues raised will be of interest to other social care providers and practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-113
JournalTizard Learning Disability Review
Issue number2
Early online date1 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2021


  • older carers
  • learning disability
  • local authority
  • needs assessments
  • personnel

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