Developing Improved Survey Questions on Older People's Receipt of, and Payment for, Formal and Informal Care

Derek King, Meera Balarajan, Margaret Blake, Hayley Cheshire, Robin Darton, Michelle Gray, Ruth Hancock, Catherine Henderson, Alex Jones, Robin Legard, Juliette Malley, Adam Martin, Marcello Morciano, Miranda Mugford, Linda Pickard, Ian Shemilt, Tom Snell (2010)

Robust data are needed on the characteristics of people providing and receiving informal care and on people receiving formal care and support, including details of their financial circumstances and contributions to care costs. Information currently collected in surveys does not clearly identify who arranges services (e.g. whether private care is arranged with or without the involvement of a local authority or council), which care recipients pay for services and which services they pay for. Moreover, developments such as Direct Payments and Personal Budgets are not yet reflected in survey questions and may blur the boundary between paid and unpaid care. This study aims to develop an improved set of survey questions on older people’s receipt of, and payment for, formal and informal care. This is a report of stage one of the study, which involved. a review of questions on receipt of formal care, disability benefits and informal care in existing surveys; a consultation with stakeholders for their views on existing survey questions and the potential for data linkage with administrative data; and a systematic review of economic evaluations which included questions to service users or their carers on the types, amounts and costs of formal social care services. This stage of the study was funded by the Department of Health and conducted by researchers at the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) at LSE and Kent and researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in collaboration with the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen). Please follow the link to the NatCen website for more information.