The Home Cure

The Coalition Government has staked a major part of its social agenda on greater integration between health and social care. Despite unprecedented budget cuts, reablement programmes benefitting from the potential for people to recover at home rather than in hospital have been a prime target for government spending. But is this largesse being matched by success stories in home care?

The Home Cure examines whether, through changes to delivery, out-patient home care programmes can achieve better outcomes. Introduced in the 2000s to reduce ‘bed-blocking’ in hospitals, evidence now suggests that effective reablement can facilitate swifter discharge and reduce the need of ongoing home care support by up to 60 per cent. The savings to both health and social care services are substantial; but in reality performance is patchy. This report finds that reablement services could benefit from deep structural changes to how they are delivered.

Finding that home recuperation programmes need to become more personalised, The Home Cure recommends that reablement services have a wider focus on activities outside the home and that they must endeavour to build networks in order to sustain their initial positive impact. It argues that social housing providers are an untapped resource in addressing these priorities – as both a partner to existing home care teams, but more radically, as an alternative reablement provider.