EAC and Care & Repair England launch new guide to commissioning advice services for older people

This guide is based on the experience of EAC FirstStop working with local FirstStop partners. It offers commissioners model clauses which can be used in specifications describing services providing housing and related care and finance advice for people in later life.

The Care Act 2014, and Guidance, places new duties on local authorities to ensure that integrated information and advice services covering social care, housing and related finance are available to all. There is also growing pressure on the NHS and Social Care to move towards prevention and away from crisis interventions such as when older people are admitted to hospital.

Integrated information and advice plays an important role in prevention, a significant element in the Care Act, as well as in the delivery of key outcomes and targets for Adult Social Care, the NHS and Public Health. These connections are clearly set out in the ADASS endorsed report, Making the Case for integrated, impartial information and advice about housing and care for older people .

National government has supported pioneering work to demonstrate the value of such integrated information and advice through the EAC FirstStop programme. A recent independent evaluation concluded that the Department of Communities and Local Government investment of just under £500,000 to fund 16 local pilot projects has resulted in £11.5 million annual savings arising from the avoidance of falls, unplanned hospital admissions and GP appointments.

The guide is set out in a series of sections and includes model clauses to enable commissioners of services providing information and advice about housing options and related care and finance for older people to develop a specification for such services.

It includes options to enable commissioners to use the clauses and/or sections which are relevant to their local circumstances. Commissioners may wish to supplement clauses from this guide with additional clauses reflecting local priorities, taking account of other local services which may support the delivery of the required outcomes.

Download Commissioning Guide