Journal Article

Unified Assessment: Policy, Implementation and Practice

Diane Seddon, Catherine Robinson and Jenny Perry

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 1, pages 207-225
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online June 2008 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Unified Assessment: Policy, Implementation and Practice

Show Summary Details


The introduction of single and unified assessment processes across England and Wales heralds opportunities to develop more consistent approaches to the assessment and management of care that are underpinned by an agreed evidence base and inform the development of person-centred, outcome-focused support. This paper presents key findings from a qualitative study that considers the implementation and effects of unified assessment on direct practice in general and care management in particular. Drawing on interview and focus group data that reflect the experiences of strategic and operational staff, this paper describes key challenges to the development and implementation of unified assessment procedures, highlights the ways in which unified assessment has facilitated positive changes to practice and explores aspects of unified assessment where translation into practice has proved difficult. It suggests that unified assessment promotes the more consistent application of eligibility criteria and encourages more creative approaches to both care and service delivery planning. However, considerable variability in the nature and volume of information collected by practitioners, who expressed reservations about the domain approach to assessment, is noted and problems relating to the sharing and management of information are highlighted. Recommendations to inform assessment practice across the UK are presented and areas for staff training are identified.

Keywords: Assessment; person-centred; outcome-focused; domain approach; care co-ordination

Journal Article.  6863 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.