Press release

Publication of DWP research report 713: local delivery of joined-up services for older people

Research published today reports on local areas that have joined-up the delivery of services for older people.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Research published today reports on local areas that have joined-up the delivery of services for older people. The findings address why and how local areas have joined-up these services, discussing barriers faced and how these barriers can be overcome.

Joining-up services in the context of this report is broadly defined as the linking together of service delivery across a range of types of provision as well as across a range of partners. Partners working together may include local authorities; other public sector and statutory organisations (e.g. fire and rescue services), voluntary and community organisations (including charities and social enterprises), and older people themselves. This has resulted in a number of innovative ways of working to deliver a wide range of services for older people.

These include:

  • Manchester’s successful strategic partnership between health and social care, reporting directly to the chief executive of the local authority, has delivered a robust older people’s strategy, within which many initiatives involving a wide range of partners have been implemented.
  • Merseyside’s largely informal network of public and third sector groups, initiated by the Fire and Rescue Service has focussed on ensuring that vulnerable adults and older people get the help they need to remain safely in their own homes.
  • Lancashire’s Help Direct service is implementing a broad vision for universal services to assist adults of all ages to get the most out of life, and has provided practical support to prevent or delay referrals for more intensive social care support.

Case studies showed that the ability to successfully join-up services was assisted by: the presence of effective organisational structures that support partnership working at the strategic level, involvement of older people’s representatives in decision making at partnership level, the enthusiasm and vision of local champions, and the availability of resources.

The findings and case study examples will be used to disseminate lessons learned and notable practice across the local authority community with the ultimate aim of improving services to maintain the independence and well-being of older people.

Notes to Editors:

  1. DWP Research Report 713 ‘Local Delivery of Joined-up Services for Older People’ is available on the DWP website: www./
  2. The authors are Mike Robertson and Helen Wilkinson from Risk Solutions.
  3. The research is based on qualitative interviews and focus groups conducted in eight case study areas in England.
  4. This research builds on the LinkAge Plus pilots (funded by DWP 2006-08) by looking at other local authority areas that display similar principles of joined-up working and holistic delivery of services. Further information on LinkAge Plus can be found at:
Published 23 November 2010