Journal Article

Targeting, Care Management and Preventative Services for Older People: The Cost-Effectiveness of a Pilot Self-Assessment Approach in One Local Authority

Paul Clarkson, Jane Hughes, David Challis, Linda Thorley and Carole Kilshaw

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 7, pages 2255-2273
Published in print October 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online March 2010 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcq042
Targeting, Care Management and Preventative Services for Older People: The Cost-Effectiveness of a Pilot Self-Assessment Approach in One Local Authority

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As social services councils face a more constrained economic environment and as eligibility criteria tighten, the issue of targeting becomes increasingly relevant. This paper presents findings from a pilot project in one local authority that aimed to target access to assessment for older people with low-level needs who would normally have fallen under eligibility thresholds. Self-assessment was used as a tool whereby these older people could identify, with assistance, their preferences for a range of preventative services. Via a randomised design, the study evaluated the costs and benefits, in terms of reported satisfaction, of the approach compared with the usual care management assessment. Although self-assessed cases were offered more advice as to a wider range of preventative services, which generated greater costs, total costs were lower for this group. This cost saving arose from the use of staff with a lower unit cost who also spent less time on administrative duties and gathering information. Satisfaction with self-assessment was comparable to a professional assessment, therefore representing a cost-effective approach. The project offers evidence of how councils can target resources through assessment and how self-assessment approaches may be appropriately configured to offer value for these users whilst also generating resource savings.

Keywords: Ageing and older people; care management; community care

Journal Article.  6908 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Work

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