With increasing reductions in funding for social care across many countries, the need to ensure that resources are used to best effect is becoming increasingly important, in particular for those with severe and complex needs.
In order to explore the outcomes and costs of skilled support for this group of people, quality of life was assessed for 110 people in 35 services in England. Information on costs was also collected.
People who received consistently good active support experienced better outcomes in terms of several quality of life domains. Good support did not require significantly more staff time, and there was no evidence of higher total costs for those receiving good support.
The inclusion of active support in government guidance and local commissioning practices related to people with severe intellectual disabilities is likely to improve user outcomes. Observation should be an important element in measuring service quality.