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24/09/2017 14:55

Project Information

Examining the economic case for social care interventions

Principal investigator(s) at PSSRU: Martin Knapp
Team: Josie Dixon, Michael Clark, Valentina Iemmi

Start year: 2012
End year: 2014

Social care systems are constrained, particularly in the current fiscal climate, in what they can achieve with the resources available to them; they are also affected by the resources available in adjacent systems, such as health, housing, employment and education. Commissioners and decision-makers, however, do not always have the information they require to allocate resources effectively and efficiently in order to secure the best possible outcomes for the people who use services and their carers. This study aims to address this gap in the evidence.

This project will:

  • examine the economic case for a range of adult social care interventions for which there is evidence of effectiveness but which have not previously been subject to an economic analysis;
  • cover around 12 interventions, across a range of service user groups, carers and settings;
  • work with experts in the area (such as other researchers, provider organisations and third sector bodies) to clarify the nature of each intervention and the outcomes it seeks to achieve;
  • carry out rapid literature reviews and consult with other researchers to gain an overview of available effectiveness and cost-effectiveness evidence and to identify potential parameters for modelling;
  • use available data in modelling to examine whether there are cost, cost-effectiveness or possibly cost-benefit arguments in support of the intervention;
  • employ conservative assumptions and focus on direct impacts for which there is sufficiently robust evidence, thereby seeking to estimate short- and medium-term consequences and possibly to project longer-term consequences where relevant; and
  • identify budgetary impacts across public sector agencies and also consider wider societal pay-offs.



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