Pilots make case for prevention funding

Department of Health-funded pilot schemes providing preventive services for older people have already shown evidence of the economic benefits of earlier intervention, the care services minister has said.

Ivan Lewis said the £60m Partnerships for Older People Projects, 19 of which started in May, had shown that investment in low-level social care could delay or  prevent future need.

He said this would help influence next year’s comprehensive spending review, which the DH was currently preparing its bid for. Lewis said: “One of the things  we’ve lacked in social care is hardedged evidence that if you invest in preventive services it makes economic sense. These pilots are already showing evidence of that.”

His comments come at a time when councils are increasingly restricting services to those in acute need in response to financial pressures.

But Lewis said this reflected “short-term decision-making”. Lewis also announced this week the areas to be given a share of £18.5m for the second phase of the programme, which starts next year.

They are Rochdale, Tameside, Calderdale, Leicestershire and Rutland, Croydon, West Sussex, Kent, North Somerset, Devon and Gloucestershire.


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