Working Towards Prevention Learning Resource

 in partnership with

Welcome to our working towards prevention in older people’s services landing page.

This is the second in a series of supplements produced as part of a ground-breaking partnership between Community Care, the Department of Health and the Social Care Institute for Excellence. The partnership is designed to help frontline practitioners turn policy into practice at a time of massive change in adult social care, notably through the DH’s Putting People First agenda to personalise care around the needs of the service user.

The subject of this supplement is early intervention and prevention in older people’s services.

The prevention agenda is clearly stated in Putting People First, which says: “The time has now come to build on best practice and replace paternalistic, reactive care of variable quality with a mainstream system focused on prevention, early intervention, enablement, and high quality personally tailored services.”

Many local authorities are already moving away from acute services for older people towards more community-based services. There is emerging evidence thatreablement programmes, telecare, predictive tools and better health interventions and housing options all contribute to reducing the demand on acute services while saving money. But in these credit crunch-driven days, will all local authorities be persuaded by the financial case for early intervention and prevention? Well, they need look no further than the interim findings from the Partnerships for Older People Projects which illustrate the success of this shift in culture and resources.

Working hand in hand with this preventive stance is the need to promote older people’s well-being and a good example of this low level but crucial support is the LinkAge Plus pilots which aim to help individuals remain independent for as long as possible.

The importance of early intervention and prevention was mentioned back in 1988 in the Griffiths report and even earlier in the Seebohm report, so this isn’t new territory. But despite the work going on in this area, are we actually clear what is meant by the words “early intervention” and “prevention”? This is one of the debates covered in a roundtable discussion held last month at Scie’s headquarters which involved top civil servants, council, NHS and voluntary organisation leaders, and service users. Meanwhile, a survey of social care professionals working with adults commissioned by Community Care specifically for this supplement reveals that two-thirds (67%) thought their local authorities had a prevention/early intervention strategy in place.

Keep up the good work.

Contents of this learning resource

Barriers to early intervention and prevention

Prevention and early intervention form the cornerstone of more personalised services for older people, but what needs to be done to make them more than ideals? Mark Hunter reports

Popps and prevention for elderly people

Preventive services for older people should boost independence and prove cost effective if the evaluation of Popps is anything to go by, writes Louise Tickle

Prevention round table

Campaigners, policymakers and care sector leaders recently met at the Social Care Institute for Excellence to discuss how the prevention agenda should proceed

Early intervention research survey

Watch leading experts debate the latest ideas in working towards preventions in older people’s services at our round table discussion


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