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Measuring the impact of supporting people

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  • Release date: 11 December 2013
The independent review of Supporting People Programme in 2010 recommended a review of outcomes measurement and monitoring of Supporting People projects.

Scoping review

This scoping study was commissioned in April 2012 prior to the launch of the new unified Supporting People Program Grant. The study was intended to provide a baseline overview of the nature and extent of Supporting People projects prior to the launch of the new Grant.

In addition the researchers were asked to scope options for the commissioning of a large scale research project to evaluate the impact of the new Supporting People Programme.

Key findings under the previous grant scheme

  • There were inconsistencies in how Supporting People projects were defined, classified and recorded by different local authorities and service providers. Wales has now moved to a single funding stream for Supporting People.
  • At that time it was not possible to entirely accurately map Supporting People projects.
  • In 2012 classifications appeared to not fully reflect the diversity of Supporting People projects and service users.
  • Key points from the data collection (all points relate to the snapshot date of 30 April 2012): Supporting People projects were mainly focused on older people (75 per cent of units). With relatively low intensity services, such as community alarm schemes; Services most commonly provided for other client groups included those for people with learning difficulties (9 per cent of units), homeless people (4 per cent) and people with mental health problems (4 per cent); There was quite high use of flexible commissioning arrangements, with some authorities having arrangements that had meant they had a flexible number of Supporting People units available; Nearly 1 in 10 units funded by Supporting People were ‘generic’ units, designed to support a wide range of client groups.
  • There was longitudinal outcome monitoring by some service providers (tracking service users over time to see if positive outcomes were sustained). This was unusual and did not use a standard approach.
  • The report outlines possible methodology and the challenges to collecting longitudinal surveys for Supporting People.
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