The Value of Specialist Clinical Assessment of Older People Prior to Placement in Care Homes

In common with changes in many other countries, the community care reforms in the UK have placed assessment as a cornerstone of good quality care.  Recent Department of Health guidelines advocate the development of multi-disciplinary approaches to assessments.  The Department of Health has funded a three year study to evaluate multi-disciplinary assessments.

The aims of the project are: to evaluate the effect of provision of a clinical contribution to the assessment process; and to examine the costs and benefits of this multi-disciplinary process of assessment for older people and their carers, and also for health and social services.  Some older people referred to the social services department placement panel for residential or nursing home placements will have a medical report based upon an assessment by a senior geriatrician or old age psychiatrist.  The others will receive the usual process of assessment and documentation.  These older people and their carers will also be seen by the research team and followed up again six months later.

Project Outline

The Value of Multidisciplinary Assessment of Vulnerable Older People, January 2001


Weinberg A, Williamson J, Challis DJ, and Hughes J (2003). What do care managers do? A study of modern working practice in older people's services. British Journal of Social Work, 33, 901-19.

Challis DJ, Clarkson P, Williamson J, Hughes J, Venables D, Burns AS, and Weinberg A (2004). The value of specialist clinical assessment of older people prior to entry to care homes. Age and Ageing, 33, 25-34.

Venables D, Clarkson P, Hughes J, Burns A, and Challis D (2006) Specialist clinical assessment of vulnerable older people: outcomes for carers from a randomised controlled trial, Ageing and Society, 26, 867-882.

Clarkson P, Venables D, Hughes J, Burns A, and Challis D (2006) Integrated specialist assessment of older people and predictors of care-home admission, Psychological Medicine, 36, 1011-1021.

Clarkson P, Brand C, Hughes J, and Challis D (2011). Integrating assessments of older people: examining evidence and impact from a randomised controlled trial. AGE AND AGEING, 40(3), 388-391.

PSSRU Project Team

David Challis, Professor of Community Care Research; Jane Hughes, Senior Research Fellow; and Paul Clarkson, Research Fellow.