More than ever, the financial constraints on English local authorities (LAs) stress the need to use social care resources in the most cost-effective way. Achieving this goal requires evidence about the effect that different interventions have on present and future care needs, outcomes and costs for different users and carers. The lack of such evidence is particularly acute with regards to prevention-related services.
This study will develop and implement an evaluation framework that enables LAs in England to use their local administrative records and information systems to assess the impact of different interventions on future costs and outcomes.
The study will establish collaborations with social care and health care organisations in nine local authorities, and will use a mixed methods approach. Using case study methods, the study will gain in-depth understandings of the care policies, processes and structures in the localities studied. Data will be collected and analysed from semi-structured interviews and documentary sources. Econometric methods will be used to analyse (at the individual and/or geographic levels) the relationship between different types of social care interventions and costs and outcomes through time. Findings will be used to draft recommendations for the development and implementation of a general prevention evaluation framework.
The study will therefore generate new evidence about the prevention effects of different interventions, will identify key principles for the use of local administrative systems to monitor prevention-related interventions, and thus will support local policy makers across England to target resources in the most efficient and equitable way.