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Results for 'local authorities'

Results 1 - 10 of 57

Evaluating social care prevention in England: challenges and opportunities

MARCZAK Joanna, WISTOW Gerald, FERNANDEZ Jose-Luis
2019

Context: The Care Act 2014 placed a statutory duty on adult social care (ASC) to prevent and delay the development of needs for care and support. There is little clarity about how to translate this national obligation into effective local practice. Objectives: This exploratory study sought to lay the foundations for understanding approaches to this new duty by identifying: emerging local understandings of prevention; associated implementation strate­gies; and the potential for designing evaluation frameworks. Methods: Local perspectives were secured through: in-depth interviews in six English local authorities; reviews of local strategy, implementation documents and reviews of data sources; and methods for evaluating local initiatives in sampled authorities. Findings: The findings indicate important differences between and within local authorities in conceptuali­sations of prevention. Although willingness to commission services was strongly linked to the availability of evidence on what works in prevention, council conducted limited local evaluations. This study also found limited collaboration between ASC and Health in developing joint prevention approaches, in part due to differ­ences in conceptualisation and also constraints arising from different priorities and information systems. Limitations: The exploratory nature of the study and the small sample size limits the generalisability of its findings. Overall, the number of local authorities and respondents allowed us to explore a range of local views, opinions and practices related to the prevention agenda in a variety of contexts, however the findings are not generalisable to all English local authorities. Implications: This study suggests that the limited local evidence about prevention, combined with finan­cial austerity, may lead to disproportionate investment in a small number of interventions where existing evidence suggests cost-savings potential, which, in turn, may impact authorities’ ability to fulfil their statutory duties related to preventing and delaying the needs for care and support. In this connection, this study highlights the potential for developing local evaluation strategies utilising existing but largely unexploited local administrative data collections.

Evidence, insight, or intuition? Investment decisions in the commissioning of prevention services for older people

MILLER Robin, et al
2013

English adult social care commissioners are expected to make ‘evidence based’ decisions on how best to invest public sector funding. This study explores the types of evidence that commissioners use in relation to prevention services for older people and the other factors that influence their investment decisions. A study of local authority Directors of Adult Social Services (DASSs) was used to identify three local prevention interventions. Semi-structured interviews with leads for these interventions explored the evidence and other factors that influenced the investment process. Commissioners drew on a variety of published evidence, in particular that deriving from central government and its regional representative bodies, and third sector organizations with specialist knowledge. Local evidence was also generated through the undertaking of pilots and gathering of performance data. Alongside these ‘rational’ decision-making processes were strong political, personal, and relational dimensions related primarily to the influence of elected members and the hierarchical power of DASSs. Capturing experiential evidence and knowledge of service users and frontline practitioners, being clear about expected impacts and monitoring accordingly, and using recognized evaluation tools would provide further local evidence and enable better comparison and sharing across local authorities.

Reaching out: guide to helping principal and local councils tackle loneliness

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LOCAL COUNCILS
2019

A practical guide to help principal authorities and local councils to work together to tackle loneliness. The guide outlines the current loneliness policy context and uses a range of case studies to demonstrate effective models working in practice. It highlights four ways in which loneliness can be tackled at a local level: finding ways to reach and understand the needs of those experiencing loneliness; providing services that directly improve the number and quality of relationships that people have; providing support such as transport and technology to help sustain connections; and providing the right environment by creating the right structures and conditions locally to support those affected by, or at risk of, loneliness. Case studies include schemes to tackle loneliness and isolation in rural communities; older people's lunch clubs; supporting socially isolated adults and using tablet computers and video conferencing; and a model of Enhanced Primary Care. The guide includes useful check lists, advice on how to measure and evaluate outputs, and links to additional resources.

The lives we want to lead: the LGA green paper for adult social care and wellbeing

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION
2018

A consultation paper from the Local Government Association, which seeks views on the future of care and support for adults and their unpaid carers. The paper puts forward options to secure the immediate and long-term funding for adult social care, and makes the case for a shift towards preventative, community-based personalised care, which helps maximise people's health, wellbeing and independence. It also considers the importance of housing, public health, other council services, in supporting wellbeing and prevention. Sections cover: differing views about the future of long-term funding for social care; the wider changes needed across care and health to bring out a greater focus on community-based and person-centred prevention; the role of public health and wider council services in supporting and improving wellbeing; and the nature of the relationship between social care and health, integration, accountability and how the new NHS funding could be used for maximum impact. Thirty consultation questions are included throughout the report. The consultation will run until 26 September 2018.

The 'front door' to adult social care

AUDITOR GENERAL FOR WALES
2019

To meet the aims of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, local authorities need to have created a comprehensive ‘front door’ to social care and to have in places an effective Information, Advice and Assistance (IAA) service. This audit report considers the effectiveness of IAA services in Wales, the availability of preventative and community-based support, and the systems put in place to ensure those who need care and support or are at risk are identified and helped. It also considers the impact of the front door on demand for social care and in respect of improving wellbeing. Although local authorities are supporting people to access a wider range of support options, there is a lack of comprehensive understanding of what is available and the preventative services that are needed. It also found that carers are still not getting equal access to the services they need. Based on the findings, the report concludes that councils are preventing social-care demand, but there is variation in the availability, accessibility and quality of information, advice and assistance services. It makes recommendations to help improve access to information, advice and assistance services.

Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) and other adaptations: external review

MACKINTOSH Shelia, et al
2018

This review, commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care, looks at how the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) currently operates and makes evidence based recommendations for how it should change in the future. It review aims to develop more effective ways of supporting more people to live in suitable housing so they can stay independent for longer and makes the case for more joint working across housing, health and social care. The focus of the review is on how the disabled or older person can be put at the centre of service provision and what would make it easier for them to access services. It also looks at the role of DFG in prevention and how it can deliver this more effectively. It draws on a range of evidence, including: analysis of data from LOGASnet returns; consultation events attended by local authorities and home improvement agencies; interviews with staff from selected local authorities; and a short review of the academic, policy and practice literature. The conclusions and recommendations include: renaming the grant to reflect that it is part of a broader set interventions to help people remain independent; improved integration of services; better partnership working between health and care and different professions; raising the upper limit of the grant; and changes to the current formula for allocating funding; and updating of the existing means testing regulations. The review also identifies additional research to be carried out.

Loneliness: how do you know your council is actively tacking loneliness?

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION
2018

Sets out a framework of interventions for tackling loneliness, which could be used to shape local areas delivery plans. There is a growing body of research showing that loneliness is a serious condition which can have a harmful effect on individuals’ physical and mental health, as well as bringing costs to public finance, particularly health and social care, and to the economy. The report argues that it is important that local areas define the nature of loneliness in their area, and who is at risk, through their JSNA, using local intelligence and national information such as that provided by the ONS and Age UK’s Loneliness heat map. The document identifies a number of services and approaches that provide the first steps in finding individuals who are experiencing loneliness and enabling them to gain support that meets their specific needs. These include: first contact schemes; door-knocking schemes, targeting people at risk; formal social care assessments; social prescribing in primary care; home from hospital or admissions avoidance schemes; information about activity to tackle loneliness available through settings such as supermarkets, one-stop-shops, pharmacies and GP surgeries. The report also considers direct interventions, which can help people maintain existing relationships and develop new ones, including: group activities such as men’s groups, lunch clubs, walking groups, book groups for people with mental health problems, choirs, and cooking groups for young parents; one-to-one approaches such as befriending schemes; psychological support, such as counselling or cognitive-behavioural therapy. Specific community approaches provide an enabling environment and include: establishing age-friendly, dementia-friendly and mental health-friendly communities; developing volunteering, including people who might not ordinarily volunteer; mobilising peer support, and intergenerational support in neighbourhoods. In addition, gateway services such as transport, technology, spatial planning and housing make it easier for communities to come together and help people build and maintain social connections.

Housing adaptations

AUDITOR GENERAL FOR WALES
2018

This report assesses whether organisations with responsibilities for delivering housing adaptations in Wales - which include local authorities, housing associations and Care and Repair agencies - have an effective approach that delivers value for money. It finds that the current system needs to change in order to meet the needs of older and disabled people. The review involved fieldwork at five local authorities and four housing associations, a survey of people who had received adaptations; and an analysis of data and expenditure on current services. It reports that although users express high levels of satisfaction with housing adaptations, the system is complex, reactive and results in people with similar needs often receiving different standards of service because of where they live and who is providing the service. Although public bodies are aware of the benefits of adaptations in supporting independence, ineffective partnership working results in missed opportunities to address needs and avoid and reduce demand and costs in health and social care services. The report makes nine recommendations for improvement, including: for the Welsh Government to set a minimum standard for adaptation work, so people can receive the same standard wherever they live; for local authorities to work more closely with partner agencies who deliver adaptations and streamline the application and delivery processes; and the provision of more accessible versions of information to the public.

Investing to tackle loneliness: a discussion paper

SOCIAL FINANCE
2015

This paper describes work undertaken with Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire to design a service that addresses loneliness, particularly among older people. The first half of the paper examines the potential costs of loneliness and the potential value to the public sector of reducing loneliness. The second half of the paper describes the outcomes-based model used in Worcestershire and sets out initial findings of the service. The service uses a model of commissioning services through a Social Impact Bond (SIB), a contract in which commissioners commit to pay investors for an improvement in social outcomes. The paper sets out some of the benefits of using social investment to fund the upfront cost of delivering a service to reduce loneliness. It also discusses the following elements of the model: measuring loneliness and additional outcomes, delivering support to the population most at risk, considering social investment and agreeing a payment mechanism.

The UTOPIA project: using telecare for older people in adult social care. The findings of a 2016-17 national survey of local authority telecare provision for older people in England

WOOLHAM John, et al
2018

This report describes how electronic assistive technology and telecare are used by local authorities in England to support older people. It is based on an online survey of local authority telecare managers to identify local authority’s aims when offering telecare to older people, the methods they use to assess whether their objectives are achieved, and how telecare is operationalised and delivered. It also aimed to explore why the findings of the earlier the Whole System Demonstrator project - which found no evidence that telecare improved outcomes - have been overlooked by local authorities and policy makers, and whether there is other evidence that could account for WSD findings. The survey results found a third of local authorities used research evidence to inform telecare services and half were also aware of the Whole System Demonstrator. It also found that telecare is used in most local authorities to save money. Although there was some evidence of monitoring, there was no evidence of local authorities adopting agreed standards. The final section of the report provides suggestions for improving telecare service practice. They include the areas of using telecare as a substitute for social care; expanding the focus on telecare beyond risk management, safety and cost reduction; the impact of telecare on family members, carrying out effective assessments, and training.

Results 1 - 10 of 57

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News

Moving Memory

Moving Memory Practice example about how the Moving Memory Dance Theatre Company is challenging perceived notions of age and ageing.

Chatty Cafe Scheme

Chatty Cafe Scheme Practice example about how the Chatty Cafe Scheme is helping to tackle loneliness by bringing people of all ages together

Oomph! Wellness

Oomph! Wellness Practice example about how Oomph! Wellness is supporting staff to get older adults active and combat growing levels of social isolation

KOMP

KOMP Practice example about how KOMP, designed by No Isolation is helping older people stay connected with their families

LAUGH research project

LAUGH research project Practice example about a research project to develop highly personalised, playful objects for people with advanced dementia
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