SKILLS FOR CARE
The practice guidance has been produced to support people who have the responsibility for commissioning assisted living technology (ALT) and assisted living services (ALS). These services include : telecare; digital participation services which educate, entertain and encourage social interaction to enrich the lives of people in need of social support; and wellness services which encourage people to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles. The guide looks at general principles, such as establishing a vision and defining the strategy; carrying out a local needs assessment; service specification and procurement; and developing systems to measure performance and impact. Although primarily developed for commissioners based in social care settings, it may also be useful for those working across housing or health services. An accompanying research report and toolkit have also been produced.
This guide sets out the issues that need to be considered when developing a business case to invest in preventive services and to ensure that any decision are based on robust and reliable data. The guide focuses on the following arguments: the importance of 'investing to save', arguing that prevention is cheaper in the long term; promotion of service innovation; placing the focus of commissioning on outcomes rather than outputs; and managing a shift in spending from acute to prevention to reduce demand over time. The guide outlines key four activities required to build a business case: understanding needs; understanding current costs; assessing possible interventions; and deciding how to measure the value and outcome of the interventions. It also provides a summary business case for prevention and using a Social Impact Bond (SBI) to finance a business case for prevention. An example case study of making a business case for prevention services in early years services in Greater Manchester is included.
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.