Introducing the Prevention Library: a resource bringing together details and examples of prevention services across England. In her debut blog, Project Lead Jen Collieson explains the thinking behind another valuable product developed and deployed by the Social Care Institute of Excellence.
"You cannot know what a person or a community needs, until you first know what it has."
The words of John McKnight, from the Illinois-based Asset-Based Community Development Institute. The idea being that we use the individual assets people own in a community and multiply them for that community’s benefit.
Asset-based community development (ABCD) is looked at in some detail by Mick Ward, who is head of commissioning for adult social care at Leeds City Council, in a blog he has recently published for SCIE’s Prevention Library Forum. Mick goes on to say that Leeds is creating an ABCD charter for the local authority and partners to sign up to. His blog shares tips on what has made an ABCD approach work well for the communities he works with in Leeds.
SCIE developed the Prevention Library to highlight examples of emerging practice and current research around prevention in adult social care – and the forum is a place where commissioners and providers can discuss challenges and successes in implementing prevention services, tailored to the needs of their local populations.
The library includes 28 detailed examples of prevention services providing information about objectives, costs and outcomes and where available, links to evaluation reports. A recent service featured is Proactive Primary Care Lewisham – based on an American model providing telephone support services to people with long-term conditions.
One success of the Lewisham scheme has been that of a middle-aged man, who was feeling trapped and stuck at home, and who was supported in his efforts to find an exercise class in his area for people who - like him - have experienced amputation.
The library was commissioned by the Department of Health and is being developed in conjunction with the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of Directors of Adult Services (ADASS), as part of a suite of products supporting implementation of the Care Act. It encourages significant positive benefits for people and communities in terms of enhancing independence, wellbeing and quality of life, along with reducing social isolation and the pressures on acute and primary care services.
Eight months on from the library’s launch we are still continuing to source new examples - but we are also seeking feedback to inform how the resource may best be developed to meet the needs of commissioners in building the business case for prevention.
We would like to hear your advice for meeting the challenges around commissioning prevention, together with suggestions you have for enhancing the value of the library, along with ideas for potential new content.