Social care and health inequalities

Strengthen the role and impact of ill health prevention

SCIE Research briefing 36: Reablement: a cost-effective route to better outcomes

Reablement is generally designed to help people learn or relearn the skills necessary for daily living which may have been lost through deterioration in health and/or increased support needs. A focus on regaining physical ability is central, as is active reassessment.

Reablement improves outcomes, particularly in terms of restoring people’s ability to perform usual activities and improving their perceived quality of life. From a social care perspective, there is a high probability that reablement is cost effective.

SCIE Research briefing 28: Assistive technology and older people

This briefing focuses on various forms of assistive technology (AT) supplied to people over the age of 65. AT can be defined as ‘ umbrella term for any device or system that allows an individual to perform a task they would otherwise be unable to do or increases the ease and safety with which the task can be performed.’

SCIE Research briefing 30: The relationship between dual diagnosis: substance misuse and dealing with mental health issues

This briefing examines the issues presented by people who use services with dual diagnosis for UK practitioners in health and social care. The briefing draws on research and literature from other countries to provide an overview for health and social care practitioners in the UK. Where there are gaps in the research, for example, in regard to involvement of people who use services, recovery approaches and personalisation of services, the briefing draws upon evidence from relevant fields such as mental health and substance misuse.

SCIE Knowledge review 13: Outcomes-focused services for older people

The factors that older people identify as central to their independence and wellbeing include: improvements in physical symptoms and behaviour, improvements in physical functioning and mobility, improvements in morale. In addition they values preventive work which helps in meeting basic physical needs, ensuring personal safety and security, having a clean and tidy home environment,  keeping alert and active,  having social contact and company, including opportunities to contribute as well as receive help and having control over daily routines.

SCIE Research briefing 39: Preventing loneliness and social isolation: interventions and outcomes

Preventive services represent a continuum of support ranging from the most intensive, ‘tertiary services’ such as intermediate care or reablement, down to ‘secondary’ or early intervention, and finally, ‘primary prevention’ aimed at promoting wellbeing. Primary prevention is generally designed for people with few social care needs or symptoms of illness. The focus therefore is on maintaining independence and good health and promoting wellbeing. The range of these ‘wellbeing’ interventions includes activities to reduce social isolation, practical help with tasks like shopping or gardening, universal healthy living advice, intergenerational activities and transport, and other ways of helping people get out and about.

SCIE Research briefing 34: Communication training for care home workers: outcomes for older people, staff, families and friends

Communications training leads to improvements in the quality of social interactions between staff and older people, this can in turn lead to improvements in older people’s quality of life and wellbeing.

SCIE Research briefing 15: Helping older people to take prescribed medication in their own home: what works?

This briefing is about the taking of prescribed medication by older people aged 65 or over who live at home. The main responsibility for taking medication among this group belongs with the older person themselves, or an informal or formal carer, rather than a health professional. The aim of the briefing therefore is to examine the policy literature and the findings of the research into why older people living at home may intentionally or unintentionally fail to take all of their prescribed medication when they need to, and what measures may be effective in helping them to achieve compliance with the prescribed doses. The intended audience of this briefing is both the prescribers of medication and health and social care professionals who work with older people in their own homes.

WRVS: Voices on well being: A report of research with older people

The research aimed to explore how older people understand and define their wellbeing, develop participatory approaches to achieve their wellbeing and provide the learning that can help enable and support older people improve their wellbeing.

ESRC Knowledge Exchange Programme: Developing professional knowledge about breast cancer in lesbian and bisexual women (ES/1029303)

Reducing cancer inequalities has emerged as a health priority and attention is turning to the factors which sustain cancer survival, including quality of life. New forms of care will be personalised to individual needs representing a cultural shift in the approach to care with a greater focus on recovery, health and wellbeing. The focus is away from a one size fits all approach to one which recognises people’s differing needs and preferences. The project links to the ESRC goals of promoting healthy ageing and delivering interventions to enhance physical and psychological wellbeing.

Link: Supporting LGBT people with cancer

Department of Health: Reducing health inequalities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people - briefings for health and social care staff

These briefings make recommendations for improving access to health and social care for LGBT people and address health issues relating to key life stages and groups of LGBT people. They also bring together available evidence of health inequalities in relation to problematic substance use, mental health and sexual health. They aim to raise awareness of health and social care professionals of the distinctive needs of LGBT people.