Introduction

Despite recognising the importance of investing in prevention, the adult social care system has often lacked formal evidence about how best to go about rebalancing the system. Proving you have prevented something is difficult in research terms, and the potential impact of preventative projects rarely fits political timescales. Against this background, many Directors of Adult Social Services are forced to begin investing in prevention without an adequate evidence base around what might work, often developing their own approaches and generating their own evidence locally. Drawing on this practice-based evidence, this study sought to explore what investments are being made locally in prevention and what impact local authorities think this is having, linking this to a formal review of the literature around the ‘top three’ interventions identified. In this way, the study focuses on a form of ‘practice-based evidence’ rather than more traditional ‘evidence-based practice.’

Prevention services, social care and older people: much discussed but little researched?
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