This diagram shows the types of information collected by the SALT return.
Figure 1 service user pathways through SALT
SALT has been designed to track service user journeys through the social care system, demonstrated by the arrows which represent the ways in which service users can move between different forms of support. Support to carers is also vital and is referenced in both sections of the return, as well as having its own LTS measure.
Following a request for support, service users may be provided with a period of short term support designed to maximise their independence (e.g. a ‘reablement’ service) or be referred directly for long term support (e.g. care home admission) or receive support such as ongoing low level support (for example an item of assistive equipment).
Short term support to maximise independence (ST-Max) is intended to be time-limited with the aim of ensuring service users become as independent as possible, ending with a formal assessment or review to determine what will follow. Long term support encompasses support provided with the intention of maintaining quality of life for an individual on an ongoing basis. Carer support in SALT encompasses both short and long term interventions.
The emphasis is on recording key events and the sequels to those events. The 'STS' and 'LTS' measures in SALT should not be thought of as counts of short term and long term services.
The measures are designed to be useful at both a local and national level. SALT provides a much richer national picture of short term preventative services than was possible in previous returns. The dataset allows for easier integration with surveys and other outcome measures and sharing of best practice through benchmarking.