Introduction

Social care systems are constrained in what they can achieve by the resources available to them, particularly in the current fiscal climate, as well as being affected by the resources available in adjacent systems such as health, housing, employment and education. However, commissioners and decision-makers do not always have the information they require to allocate resources effectively and efficiently so as to secure the best possible outcomes for people who use services and carers.

This study aimed to address this need, examining the economic case for a range of social care interventions (broadly defined), for which there is existing evidence of effectiveness but which have not been evaluated from an economic perspective (or not fully, not in England or not recently). The interventions covered different groups of people who use services, carers and settings and included interventions that are already widely used as well as those emerging as newly emphasised approaches. The study employed methods, based on decision-modelling techniques, already successfully used by the researchers in earlier studies into mental health and community capacity-building to examine around a dozen interventions.