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Community care policy

Influencing policy in community care: the impact of care coordination and community care research on Personal Budgets and National Dementia Strategies in England

Dementia is a common condition affecting over 800,000 people in the UK, with an estimated cost of £23bn each year.

Researchers in the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) built on their policy-changing work on case management and community care for older people, started at the University of Manchester in 1996.

Professor David Challis and his team looked at the range of community care support available for people with dementia.

Their research provided evidence of the value of early diagnosis and intervention to improve quality of life and delay and prevent unnecessary admission into care homes.  

These findings were disseminated to policy makers and subsequently had a direct influence on the roll out of the UK National Dementia Strategy Objective 6 in 2009.

It recommended that an appropriate range of services need to be put in place to support people with dementia and their carers in their own homes, with a range of options available from early intervention to specialist services.

The results of the research also influenced recommendations on case management in dementia care by the Fondation Alzheimer in France in 2010 and by the Netherlands Institute for Long Term Care in 2007.

PSSRU research also examined the merits of different approaches to the provision of home care for people with dementia.

This then informed the Department of Health’s (DH) Dementia Commissioning Pack, launched in 2011, for early intervention and prevention in the delivery of community person-centred support.

Their work also had a direct impact on the DH’s 2011 policy on Community Based Services for People Living with Dementia and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia inquiry in 2011 into cost effective dementia services in the UK.

The group’s research was also used extensively in the planning document for the 2012 Dementia Strategy for Ireland.

“The University of Manchester team’s research exploring the range of community support available for people with dementia has informed public policy and implementation of dementia care in England, Ireland, France and the Netherlands.”

David Challis / Professor of Community Care Research