This study estimates the economic benefits to commissioners of both health and social care across six British Red Cross schemes, two covering A&E hospital schemes, and four focused on community and individual resilience. Based on analysing these six schemes, BRC is found to be delivering substantial savings to health and social care commissioners, ranging from £168 to £704 per user relating to a rate of return between 40 to 280 per cent. Savings are realised through the prevention of hospital admission or reduced length of stay in hospital; reduced levels of hospital readmission; and preventing or minimising the use of expensive domiciliary and residential care. All the BRC schemes across the UK are estimated to have the potential to save commissioners £8m. This saving implies an overall return of 149 per cent on commissioner expenditure, suggesting that these schemes deliver material benefits and form a crucial element of care in the UK. In addition to savings there are a number of further benefits the schemes deliver, including service user benefits, signposting and assistance with access to additional services, reduction of social isolation and greater independence and wellbeing through the use of volunteers.
JOY Sarah, CORRAL Susana, NZEGWU Femi
An evaluation of the British Red Cross Support at Home services, which provide time-limited care and support to people at a time of crisis who are finding it difficult to cope at home. Overall the research highlighted that the common area of major impact of Support at Home is the enhancement of service users’ quality of life. The support provided is characterised by a strong sense of trust by service users in the Red Cross brand alongside a compassionate, caring, non-judgemental, time-flexible and person-enabling approach. In particular, the findings show that four service user outcomes were significantly improved or increased following receipt of support. These include: improved wellbeing; increased ability to manage daily activities; increase in leisure activities; and improved coping skills. Other positive changes were also reported related to the wider benefits of the service beyond the service user outcomes alone, including enabling safe discharge, supporting carers and enabling patient advocacy. The report identifies a series of action points to help further develop the services: champion Red Cross strengths, respond to the changing profile of service users, develop active partnerships to extend reach and maximise impact, clarify the Red Cross’ position for people in need who fall outside of commissioned contracts, collect consistent and routine local and national data to inform service learning and development, develop signposting to ensure long-term impact and grow skills in order to advocate on behalf of service users.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH RESEARCH. School for Social Care Research
Third sector organisations (TSOs) have historically played a significant role in the delivery of adult social care. Often seen to be associated with qualities such as strong community links, access to disadvantaged groups and innovative practice, TSOs remain a popular choice with local authority commissioners as providers of preventative services. This study explored the views of nine locally commissioned TSOs and two national organisations which provide preventative services for older people. Senior managers were interviewed about their views of the purpose of such services, how the TSO understood their impacts, and their experience of being commissioned by the public sector. The results were added to previous research with local authorities to build a picture of the local authority and third sector relationship. The research identifies positive aspects within the current arrangements, but also gaps in respect of setting and understanding of outcomes and a reliance on personal relationships within the commissioning process.