CENTRE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE
An evaluation of the Silver Line helpline and befriending service which was set up in response to loneliness and isolation of older people in the UK. The service has been piloted in the North West of the UK, and in the Isle of Man since the end of November 2012 and provides a helpline offering information, referrals to other organisations and someone to talk to 24 hours a day. The evaluation included a literature review, interviews by phone and in person, and fieldwork in the three call centres. The results found that the service was fulfilling its three key objectives of providing a referral service, delivering a befriending service to combat loneliness, and to help identify those who are vulnerable and may be suffering abuse or neglect. The evalution also highlights the skills and values that staff and volunteers considered to be essential when operating the service. Key recommendations for the future included extending the pilot across the country through partnership.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH RESEARCH. School for Social Care Research
A scoping study investigated approaches to prevention services in local authorities which enable older people to retain their independence for as long as possible to maintain their quality of life and reduce pressure on local authority and NHS budgets. The study involved a survey of Directors of Adult Social Services in 9 local authorities to identify what they viewed as their top 3 investments in prevention services for older people, and interviews with lead managers for each intervention. It also reviewed local and national evidence as to whether these interventions lead to a delay or reduction in uptake of social care services This paper summarises the key findings from the research. It explains that the top 3 interventions were reablement (a top 3 approach for all of the local authorities surveyed), technology-based interventions (among the top 3 interventions in 6 authorities), and information and advice (among the top 3 in 3 authorities), while a number of other prevention interventions were identified by one local authority each. It reports on how local authorities seek evidence and guidance on prevention services and factors influencing how local funding was spent, and on assessment of the outcomes and impact of prevention interventions. It also summarises national and local evidence for the top 3 interventions.