SCIE media releases 2010

Think ‘prevention’ and promote wellbeing in adult services

09 December 2010

A new section is added to the SCIE site today aimed at promoting the independence and wellbeing of adults with care and support needs. The new Prevention pages will help commissioners and providers of services by providing collated evidence and practical advice. It currently focuses on three areas; early intervention, reablement and the mental health and wellbeing of BME older people.

Prevention is a key element of the Government’s vision for adult social care. It encompasses a broad package of ongoing of care and support for older people.

In this first phase, SCIE’s site looks at:

Supported by an advisory group of people who commission, provide and use services, SCIE will over time develop the site to provide practice guidance based on our analysis of available evidence. Where such evidence is available SCIE will also provide information relating to the costs and cost effectiveness of preventative approaches. 

SCIE’s Director of Adult Services, David Walden, says:

The Prevention Agenda will play an important role in care and support over the next few years. During a time of financial restraint, it is inevitable that commissioners consider focussing their resources only on those with the highest needs. But the developing evidence base on areas like reablement and the Partnership for Older People Projects (POPPS) shows that not investing – or even disinvesting - in prevention is a false economy, merely increasing the need for more significant amounts of care at a later date.

Case study - reablement

SCIE has already undertaken an analysis of the evidence underpinning reablement. Reablement is a form of home care service which supports people to learn or re-learn skills necessary for daily living. The aim is to maximise independence, often enabling people to remain in their own homes. As well as reviewing existing evidence, SCIE visited a number of reablement teams to see how the service can work in practice. Today the charity is revealing emerging practice messages to help support planning and investment in reablement services.

An example of the emerging practice messages is that occupational therapy makes an important contribution to reablement as does ongoing, active assessment. The research also demonstrates that reablement has the potential to be cost-effective by reducing ongoing support needs through sustaining independent living. In one study, 76% of reablement users had no support needs at a four month follow-up. 

Policy context

The Government’s vision for adult social care, published in November 2010, looks towards provision of care and support over the next four years. Prevention is one of the principal pillars of the vision. SCIE will continue to provide commissioners and providers of care with practical guidance and support on how to deliver that vision.

Next steps

A major evaluation of reablement by research units SPRU and the PSSRU will improve the evidence base and in 2011 SCIE will publish a Research Briefing of all available evidence. SCIE will publish practice messages and learning points in a range of accessible formats. This work is ongoing.

Media contact

Steve Palmer | Press and Public Affairs Manager | Tel: 020 7766 7419 | Mob: 07739 458 192 | Email: