Journal Article

Smarter Working in Social and Health Care: Professional Perspectives on a New Technology for Risk Appraisal with Older People

Jill Manthorpe, Kalpa Kharicha, Claire Goodman, Danielle Harari, Cameron Swift and Steve Iliffe

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 6, pages 1829-1846
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online September 2009 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcp100
Smarter Working in Social and Health Care: Professional Perspectives on a New Technology for Risk Appraisal with Older People

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There is growing emphasis on prevention, personalisation and self-care or active citizenship in England. This paper reports on the Smarter Working in Social care & Health (SWISH) study of the development of an information technology system that allows older people to assess their own health and to receive personalised feedback and considers the implications for social work practice and commissioning. The study took place in two London areas (2005–7). Its objectives were 1) to refine a method to improve access to information and services, and to identify older people at risk, and 2) to examine the potential of the method to enrich public sector information and to profile local populations to inform local commissioners. A multi-method approach consolidated findings from focus groups and interviews with older people and professionals. Under the first objective, views were mixed. The existing health risk assessment tool was seen as comprehensive, with the capacity to identify low-level risks to well-being, although possibly burdensome. Under the second objective, social workers and managers were uncertain how to make use of local population data and to the capacity of local resources to meet information needs. Messages for practitioners and managers are drawn.

Keywords: Older people; needs assessment; community development

Journal Article.  6635 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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