In 2009, care and support moved to the top of the public and political agenda, thanks to high-profile milestones like the Care and Support Green Paper, the Big
Care Debate and the Government’s plan for free personal care at home. But this is just the beginning.
This year, the DH is looking to deliver a National Care Service for adults in England that is fair, easy to understand, and makes it easier to access services. And the publication of the final evaluation of the Partnership for Older People Projects (POPPs) programme, on 18 January this year, was a good start.
The purpose of the POPPs was to deliver and evaluate innovative, locally-led approaches to keeping older people healthy, well and independent, and preventing or delaying high-intensity or institutional care.
‘These are fundamental underpinning principles in our vision of a National Care Service,’ says David Behan, Director General, Social Care, Local Government and Care Partnerships. ‘We cannot now ignore the benefits of prevention, early intervention and integration of services.’
The DH selected 29 POPPs pilots to run across England from May 2006 to March 2009. Each one was led by a local authority, working with their health and voluntary sector partners. Projects ranged from lunch clubs to hospital discharge and rapid-response services. Volunteers, including many older people, also made a vital contribution.
The final evaluation by the University of Kent found that the POPPs have, in most cases, enhanced older people’s quality of life, improved local working relationships and resulted in efficiency savings. Hospital overnight stays have reduced by 47 percent, visits to practice nurses reduced by 25 percent and A&E attendances
by 29 percent.
David Behan says: ‘This demonstrates that, if health and social care work together, we can get real results - not just efficiency gains, but better outcomes for
Images of Care and Support
As part of the Big Care Debate on the reform of England’s care system, the Care and Support team is putting together a gallery of images that illustrate and raise awareness of care and support, and how it touches the lives of people in England. Healthcare staff are encouraged to submit images, along with a title and a description of up to 50 words. The pictures will be displayed on the Care and Support website, and the best ones will be considered for inclusion in the care and support White Paper. Photos, titles and descriptions are subject to moderation and terms and conditions.
If you want your picture returned, enclose a stamped, addressed envelope. The Care and Support team posts images on the understanding that all individuals pictured (or their guardians) have consented. Please mark all correspondence for the attention of Ben Scott.