Feb 26 2013

Reablement research and resources from SCIE

by Jennifer Francis

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) is dedicated to increasing the knowledge base on what works best in social care and sharing it widely to help improve standards. Last month Jennifer Francis, a research analyst at SCIE, led the discussion session at our reablement workshop on the 23 January at the University of Birmingham. She leads SCIE’s work on reablement, which has been targeted at a range of groups including practitioners, carers and users.

SCIE’s work on reablement began in 2010 with a review of research evidence, supplemented with practice knowledge from local boroughs. The findings from this review were published in SCIE’s research briefing 36 ‘Reablement: a cost-effective route to better outcomes’. With the aim of tailoring these findings for key groups involved in commissioning, providing and using reablement, SCIE then published 5 ‘at a glance summaries’ including one aimed at GPs, one at commissioners of adult social care and a briefing for families of people using reablement.

To disseminate this work further, SCIE also produced three short videos on reablement. The first provides an introduction to the service by focusing on two people using reablement in the London Borough of Sutton. The film also features Professor Julien Forder, from the PSSRU, describing evidence on the cost effectiveness of reablement.

Feedback on this film highlighted the need to specifically address the commissioning audience and this was achieved in the subsequent  Social Care TV (SCTV) film, ‘The business case for reablement’.  This film demonstrates how one person, Jill has been supported through reablement following hospital discharge to a point she will soon require no support at all. We hear from the Operational Manager of Reablement Services in Central Bedfordshire, about how reablement has achieved cost savings, albeit with higher upfront investment. The film also shows how investment in a ‘step-down’ reablement unit has facilitated earlier hospital discharge and delivered savings in the health sector.

The third film in the series focuses on the role of carers and families of people using reablement. The film reflects their crucial role in both the delivery of reablement and in sustaining the benefits of reablement after the formal service has ended.

The key messages of the films is that people welcome the considerable quality of life improvements that they achieve with reablement and that investing in the service is highly likely to save money because of the reduced need for ongoing care and support.

SCIE is due to launch two e-learning modules on reablement in March 2013. These are designed for use by service managers and front line reablement workers. SCIE is also currently developing an NHSE accredited guide on reablement designed to support and improve commissioning and delivery.

For further information on SCIE’s work in this area please contact Jennifer Francis Jennifer.francis@scie.org.uk

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