The third research question sought to consider the extent that LA’S enablement service was offsetting and preventing increased demand for services. Section 4 shows that enablement services are meeting objectives and are delivering outcomes that are reducing the numbers of individuals requiring on-going, long term support. The emerging trend, however, confirms Humphries (2011) assertion that these early successes are being overlooked as resources are increasingly directed to maintain high level, complex care needs. This is borne out from the quantitative data on those individuals receiving intensive care arrangements for LA. The marked decline in the number of individuals needing no hours following enablement should be an alert to facilitate a review of current arrangements to determine underlying factors to ensure that the successes that have been achieved continue to be maintained.
The evidence suggests that although support must be delivered to those with the highest need, it is also necessary to prioritise those individuals where there is the greatest enablement potential thereby preventing increased demand in the future. Despite limited resources and growth potential failure to prioritise these individuals now will result in challenges in the years ahead. To do this now will be challenging when resources are limited and growth remains unlikely. The need to reconsider the eligibility criteria against this backdrop is essential.