2012 Conference Presentation
The public reporting of quality information is promoted as a means to support consumers to make informed decisions about care and support options that meet their needs and reflect their preferences, to promote a sense of control, and to ensure the efficient operation of the market. In order to choose a care home, people need support and good information that is easy to find and available to all, irrespective of whom is paying. There are a number of challenges to providing information on quality in a timely and accessible way to older people, who may have to make a decision at a time of ‘crisis’ and may be without decision-making support.
The project, ‘Using information to choose residential care for older people: A European comparison’, aims to examine the care home selection process, with a particular focus on the provision and use of information in England, the Netherlands and Spain. The aims are to better understand how user selection is employed in the care home market in each country; what information and advice is currently available and how it is used; and what aspects of the process of sharing information and advice on quality of care homes stakeholders would change. Key stakeholders are being interviewed, including older people and informal carers who have recently chosen a care home. Prospective residents and relatives and carers’ understandings and preferences for different types of quality information are also being explored in group workshops.
This presentation will report preliminary results from approximately 20 semi-structured qualitative interviews (conducted in Spring and Summer 2012) with social care professionals who communicate, signpost or publish information and managers/senior staff in care homes which provide personal care or nursing care for older people in the private and voluntary sector. The study will seek to make observations on the context of the care home market and the roles of professionals in the provision of information, advice and support. The research will have implications for European policy-makers concerned with developing better personalisation in adult social care; providing information and advice to aid choice for people regardless of their eligibility for publicly funded support; and ensuring the equity and efficiency of the user choice mechanism in long term care. The information needs and preferences identified by social care professionals and care home providers will be of interest to all information providers, whether they are in local or national government, in the private or third sector, or at the pan European level, as well as to older people and organisations representing the interests of older people and their families and carers.