Progress and problems in developing outcomes-focused social care services for older people in England

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social care services for adults are increasingly required to focus on achieving the outcomes that users aspire to, rather than on service inputs or provider concerns. This paper reports a study aimed at assessing progress in developing outcomes-focused services for older people and the factors that help and hinder this. It describes the current policy context and discusses the social care service outcomes desired by older people. It then reports on a postal survey that identified over 70 outcomes-focused social care initiatives across England and Wales, and case studies of progress in developing outcomes-focused social care services in six localities. The study found progress in developing outcomes-focused services was relatively recent and somewhat fragmented. Developments in intermediate care and re-ablement services, focusing on change outcomes, were marked; however, there appeared to be a disjunction between these and the capacity of home care services to address desired maintenance outcomes. Process outcomes were addressed across a range of re-ablement, day care and residential services. The paper concludes by discussing some of the challenges in developing outcomes-focused social care services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-63
Number of pages10
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


  • Aged
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • England
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
  • Social Work
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wales
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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