On the 18th June 2014 there was a joint Social Services Research Group (SSRG) and the National Institute for Health Research School for Social Care Research (NIHR SSCR) looking at integrating services for older people. As an attendee the biggest research aspects I felt were:
- Taking account of unmet demand (when trying to forecast future service need). When looking at care for older people we can use projections of the elderly and we can look at current service use by age group and then do something from that. But there is little information on people who cannot currently get the service and how that should be accounted for.
- Related to this was the issue translating demand into resource implications, and then what to do. So if we seek to reduce the number of older people in hospitals how should the resourcing change, because the beds won’t remain empty in a hospital, they will be filled with other people….
- There was the issue of how much wider to look. It can be easy to lose sight of outcomes. If the project is to improve the life of older people how, as a researcher, should you take account of the things outside social services & the NHS. It was said that that health services only contribute 20% in relation to the determinants of people’s health. The rest can come from housing, the environment, communities etc.
The SSRG are linked to the London School of Economics Personal Social Services Research Unit. Universities are keen to be able to demonstrate they are disseminating their research. To find out more about the SSRG please visit their website.
Photo: London School of Economics by Patrick Wilken