Improving care and saving money: learning the lessons on prevention and early intervention for older people

Prevention and early intervention are at the very heart of our vision for the future of care and support. Promoting the independence of older people through a strategic shift to prevention and early intervention can produce better outcomes and greater efficiency for health and social care systems. Better outcomes for older people also appear to be aligned with approaches which target the right people at the right time and provide personalised responses focused on ‘working with’ the person rather than ‘doing for’ them.

The Partnerships for Older People Projects (POPP) programme was an ambitious inititiative designed to increase our learning about how to promote older people’s independence, particularly through joint approaches to reducing reliance on long-term institutional care and acute hospital admissions. The learning from this programme has increased the evidence base about the benefits of prevention, early intervention and the integration of services – all fundamental underpinning principles to the reform of the care and support system and our vision to create a National Care Service.

It is increasingly unsustainable for health and social care systems not to reconfigure the way they work to take on board this learning and good practice. There is a clear need for both health and social care to focus on Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP). The experience from POPP will contribute greatly to this QIPP agenda and will help local authorities and primary care trusts (PCTs) to develop better ways of using their resources more effectively and improve quality at the same time.

The national evaluation of the POPP programme paints a very positive picture of the gains that can be achieved, and many of the local evaluations of the 29 pilot sites extend this learning further. This document provides high-level messages about the key learning, which health and social care systems will wish to consider. In doing so it draws together a number of the key policy strands and demonstrates the importance of a preventative approach to most areas of the health and social care agenda.

Click here to download the full report.