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Housing and Adult Social Care

Report | January 2015

The NIHR School for Social Care Research commissioned a scoping review of the evidence on the ways housing can contribute to adult social care.

A wide-ranging review of available literature from 2003 to 2015 was carried out by IPC and the Housing LIN to obtain evidence covering a range of areas:

  • housing and prevention of the need for adult social care;
  • housing and delaying the need for adult social care;
  • alignment of housing with the integration of health and adult social care;
  • cost and cost-effectiveness studies.

The review revealed some good evidence about the role of a number of housing interventions, such as housing with care for older people, aids and adaptations, and handyperson services in preventing and/or enabling people to live independently in their own homes.

There were also cost-benefit studies across the UK indicating that the former Supporting People programme yielded net benefits for most groups who use social care, mainly by the assumed delay or avoidance of long-term residential care.

Much of the evidence focused on a particular service or intervention with regard to a specific client group rather than an overarching theme such as prevention or enabling independent living. The research therefore often reflected the 'silos' that can affect the sector.

The review revealed gaps in the evidence base, particularly around:

  • private sheltered and extra care housing,
  • recent changes in the nature of sheltered/retirement housing,
  • specific client groups – for example, people with mental health needs and/or learning disabilities, and
  • the alignment of housing with the integration of health and social care.

The great majority of research studies were conducted in England.