Reducing dependency and improving outcomes

Mears LogoAbigail Lock, Head of Communications at Mears Group explains why they are part of a project working with the LGiU and the London Borough of Camden to track down what the authority spends on prevention.

“Established wisdom tells us that prevention is better than cure; however, 
ensuring that spending is targeted on effective measures can be 
challenging.  The National Audit Office identify three stages of
 prevention; upstream measures; midstream or early action measures and 
downstream measures which stop escalation of need and deterioration.

This
 definition challenges policy makers to not simply think about prevention as
a tool to stop people from entering the system, but show us that we should 
be thinking in terms of prevention at all stages of the care pathway.

As a leading provider of domiciliary care, Mears is particularly
 interested in “downstream measures” which can delay deterioration and
reduce dependency.  We are actively looking for ways in which we can
 prevent escalation of need, such as our crises response programme in 
Lancashire, which is actively reducing the likelihood of residential care
 and hospital admission.

However, in many cases current practice in social
 care means that when people enter the care system there is often one
 direction of travel – increased dependency and deterioration.  The fact
 that providers are usually paid on a task and time basis means that
prevention is not incentivised – in fact, perversely service user
 deterioration means increased business.

Mears believe that it doesn’t have to be like this. We think that
 providers should be incentivised to take a preventative approach, slow 
deterioration and encourage independence.   This is why we are working with
 Camden Council, The British Red Cross and LGIU to develop a tool kit to 
support local authorities with this important agenda.”

For more information about Mears, please see www.mearsgroup.co.uk

To hear more about this project, please contact Lauren Lucas at lauren.lucas@lgiu.org.uk