Learning from a review into reablement

Friday 26th January 2024 by casadmin
6 colourful cogs of different sizes being held together by 6 white hands.

Reablement is a critical element of support in helping people regain their independence after leaving hospital. Our recent work reviewing reablement services and the Better Care Fund (BCF) for a local authority provided some helpful insight into how to measure their effectiveness.  We are also working with several clients to map low-level social care and the role of hyper-local Voluntary Community Social Enterprise (VCSE) services in improving access to health, early intervention and reducing hospital admissions.  Here are some of our thoughts.

Join up outcomes

This might seem obvious but being able to track service related and local outcomes more clearly to the ASCOF helps to illustrate the interdependencies across different aspects of the system, such as between reablement and the BCF.  This can then inform the indicators you need to measure performance and the long-term outcomes that help to measure their effectiveness and impact on reducing social care expenditure as well as wider council outcomes.

Connect services

There are many points in the reablement system where care is transferred between different teams. This creates the potential for disconnection within the system, which can lead to duplication, needs not being met and increasing costs. Getting a universal understanding of reablement and rehabilitation using service pathway maps can help connect systems from start to finish, avoid duplication of assessments, optimise transfer of care and track the quality of patients’ journeys and outcomes.

Mine your data

There is a vast amount of data that is collected on service-users, the services they access and outcomes. But data collection can sometimes overlook the most basic information and the quality of record keeping. That said, case management systems could be a potential goldmine of information, particularly in looking beyond 91-day measures and tracking who is accessing services.

Know your places

You may already be contracting with the VCSE to deliver services around advice, support and guidance, but our experience has shown the importance of very small organisations in accessing communities that do not engage with mainstream services. From our work in better understanding VCSE sector needs and consultancy services to improve relationships between the sector and local authorities, we know that these smaller organisations will be making a contribution to the prevention and early intervention agenda which is unrecognised or undervalued. But they also play a critical role in reaching communities who face the greatest health inequalities but experience the biggest barriers – knowing who these organisations are is critical.

We will keep you updated on our work in measuring the costs and benefits of the smaller VCSE sectors’ contribution to prevention and early intervention in health and social care later this year.