Standardised needs assessments are proposed as a way of gaining holistic understanding of older people’s health and social needs in the community.
This study explores whether such an assessment process may lead to better decision-making and signposting for support and care from third sector or other integrated services. The aim is to enable people to self-manage their health needs and maintain independence in the community.
An often overlooked benefit of integrated assessments is that the information from individual assessments, with consent, could provide an overview of the needs of the population and improve planning decisions and commissioning.
Maintaining health and independence is a priority for many older people living in the community. A focus on wellbeing and health promotion for older people aims to prevent, reduce or delay the need for NHS or social care.
At the moment people may miss out on support or services because they fall between the gaps where services are not ‘joined up’ or coordinated. For support in the community, the third sector (charities, voluntary and community organisations as well as social enterprises) could play an important role in addressing lifestyle health factors, but these are frequently not coordinated with other parts of the system; NHS, social care and other agencies.
This research will lead to improved delivery of ‘low level interventions’, or wellbeing services, through coproduction of a 'menu of what works' guide for assessment and self-management support. We will host stakeholder events throughout the study with targeted activities to support the use of the research findings in regional services.