Abigail 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 firstname.lastname@example.org