Unified Assessment: Policy, Implementation and Practice

Diane Seddon, Catherine Robinson, J.K. Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The introduction of single and unified assessment processes across England and Wales heralds opportunities to develop more consistent approaches to the assessment and management of care that are underpinned by an agreed evidence base and inform the development of person-centred, outcome-focused support. This paper presents key findings from a qualitative study that considers the implementation and effects of unified assessment on direct practice in general and care management in particular. Drawing on interview and focus group data that reflect the experiences of strategic and operational staff, this paper describes key challenges to the development and implementation of unified assessment procedures, highlights the ways in which unified assessment has facilitated positive changes to practice and explores aspects of unified assessment where translation into practice has proved difficult. It suggests that unified assessment promotes the more consistent application of eligibility criteria and encourages more creative approaches to both care and service delivery planning. However, considerable variability in the nature and volume of information collected by practitioners, who expressed reservations about the domain approach to assessment, is noted and problems relating to the sharing and management of information are highlighted. Recommendations to inform assessment practice across the UK are presented and areas for staff training are identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-225
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

Keywords

  • Assessment
  • Person-centred
  • Outcome-focused
  • Domain approach
  • Care co-ordination

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