AskSARA for advice and support to help daily living in Salford

A NEW, free, user-friendly service that aims to keep Salford residents living independently in their homes has now been launched.asksara-homepage-compressed-image_fig-1

The AskSARA online questionnaire-style assessment tool offers guided advice and help with daily living, with the intention of supporting clients to make informed decisions.

The aim is to create greater customer choice and start to open up self-service options online for those wishing to access simple, personalised, equipment. Customers will be able to buy daily living aids and get access to advice and information following a simple online survey.

Across Salford, professionals and frontline staff are being advised to direct clients who are struggling with things like bathing, toileting, getting on and off chairs, in the kitchen, or any other type of day-to-day activity, to use the AskSARA webpage.

Depending on the nature of your role, you can either point clients in the direction of AskSARA, or help them complete it using a computer or tablet at venues such as a library, community venues or from the comfort of their own home.

If you’re taking a ‘hands-on’ approach, such as assisting someone at a computer at a Gateway or other venue, then it really is quite simple to AskSARA.

Simply type – or even better, get the client to type, if possible – in the following website address: www.salford.gov.uk/asksara and you will be presented with the screen pictured in figure 1. Then you just click on any of the areas that the client might need help with.

The client is then asked to answer a few questions before being presented with a report and its recommendations.

By diverting those with less need to alternative solutions found on AskSARA, it is possible that there will be a reduction in waiting times for formal assessments and reduction in the volume of calls dealt with directly by the Adult Social Services Contact Centre. This would free-up valuable time for the Contact Centre to deal with those people who are most vulnerable.

AskSARA is meant to be a complementary tool to provide clients with another option. It is not a replacement for a professional social services assessment which, under the Care Act 2014, everyone is entitled to.

For those who do complete AskSARA and get a report recommending a formal assessment, the report produced will enable better sharing of information on an individual and their circumstances.

Importantly, please do encourage those clients who have looked at AskSARA to complete an evaluation form.

Adult Social Services contact information will be visible throughout the process, should the customer require additional help. Spread the word: AskSARA is there to help you and your clients.