Recommendation ID

Extended access to social care services:- What is the clinical and cost effectiveness of providing extended access to social care services, for example during early mornings and evenings, and 7 days a week?

Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)

Why this is important:- A person with social care needs is defined as someone needing personal care and other practical assistance because of their age, illness, disability, dependence on alcohol or drugs, or any other similar circumstances. This is based on the definition of social care in section 65 of the Health and
Social Care Act 2012.
At present access to social care differs throughout the country. Some areas have access to all social
care services whereas others have very limited access. When social care services are substantially
reduced, such as during weekends, collaboration and multidisciplinary planning between hospital,
community health services and social care is difficult to achieve. This increases the number of
avoidable hospital admissions and readmissions, and delays discharges.
NHS England has stated that community care services in hospitals, primary care, community care and mental healthcare must be available 7 days a week. This will support people to stay in the community and allow those in hospital to leave earlier. Extended access to community care has a direct impact on bed occupancy rates. Current figures suggest that 22% of hospital patients are waiting for a social care assessment so that they can be discharged. Extended access to social care would play an important role in alleviating this problem, particularly for the frail elderly. [See the evidence review on social care extended access.]

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Emergency and acute medical care in over 16s: service delivery and organisation
Date issued
March 2018

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 31/03/2018