Essex County Council Partner Search


Proposal Title


Developing responsive services to maximise healthy, active and dignified ageing

Funding Call

Funding Programme: PROGRESS Programme

Call Submission deadline: To be confirmed


Deadline for response to this partner search:  9th February

Project details

Working hypothesis: This project proposal is based on the early success of face to face contact services in Essex but now seeks to develop these in innovative ways which require research, dissemination and investment. 

Intervening appropriately enables ageing and vulnerable older people to lead active and dignified lives in their home, which is their natural place of care.  Effective and efficient services will reduce isolation and improve resilience. 


Successful intervention requires a coordinated approach with 4 key attributes:


  • A face to face signposting service focused on ageing and vulnerable older people that help them obtain relevant support which meets their needs (whether services are focused on the individual or around developing social networks).
  • A standardised assessment tool for face to face workers and other health, social care and voluntary sector staff which would help to direct people to appropriate services
  • A co-ordinated response from different points of entry enabling ‘person-centred’ approaches based on individuals level of risk.  Services to be co-ordinated at points, for instance, whether an individual is subject to hospital discharge or from their own home.
  • A targeted approach to social marketing based on the experience of ageing and vulnerable older people is required. 


Specific Objectives:  The project aims to better understand by research and evaluation how services should be organised and coordinated in order to ensure that the needs of ageing and vulnerable older people are met.


It will do this through:


  • Researching the experience of ageing and vulnerable older people to understand what leads them to vulnerability so that interventions and assessment tools can be shaped appropriately.   It will aim to look at all levels of vulnerability and severity of condition. It will particularly look at the triggers (such as bereavement) and levels of co morbidity in the population that conventional hard data does not capture.  This will inform social marketing approaches and the commissioning and development of services at all levels of service user complexity.  It should inform how web based information and guidance services are shaped in relation to vulnerable people.
  • Researching the pathways that people actually embark on to see how these might be improved to achieve better outcomes. This should include people who fund their own care and use their own resources in doing so. We should look at how signposting can improve and develop appropriate social networks where there might be gaps in provision.
  • Researching and testing appropriate data systems and links that enable pathways (whether from discharge or direct from a person’s home) to be joined up so that an individual’s needs can be best met and services applied responsively. We think that such systems can maximize opportunity and dignity.
  • Evaluating styles of present intervention such as enabling services to see how they can be accommodated into a range of services. We will look at how to develop a continuity of approach from different professionals. 
  • Evaluate and research the costs and benefits of service interventions following signposting to maximise the resources brought to the project from partners. It will be our aim to develop a service that is eventually sustaining in relation to the existing available resources.
  • Develop appropriate outcome focused objectives that relate to the individuals journey and which best indicate avoidance of hospital admission and long term care. Consideration to include the selection and timing of outcome measures during an individuals’ journey/pathway.
  • Make links to complimentary developments tools such as personal health plans and case finding approaches, which are similarly about early intervention. 

In developing this initiative we aim to work progressively with local agencies and EU partners and disseminate information which will be of universal value.  Essex is a sufficiently diverse area in which to test a number of approaches – i.e. urban and rural. The projects should therefore inform both commissioner and provider approaches and be relevant to health and social care.


Planned activities:  This is a multifaceted project that will include investment and research in a number of areas.


·        Variously and in relation to different research areas it will require:

·        Development of a project team amongst the EU partners

·        Research co-ordination of multiple streams including Quantitative and   Qualitative and cost-benefit approaches. Research also on best practice and innovation and potential alignment to service design and investment

·        Targeting and developing innovative social marketing materials

·        Communication with partners (across Europe) and dissemination strategy.


Expected results: 

Helping to contribute in informing future Health and Social Care decisions, targeting and empowering groups across the EU which will work towards: 

  • Reducing admissions to hospital and readmissions for older people in the target areas.
  • Improved wellbeing/quality of life (measures to be derived through best practice and research)
  • A report for distribution to national and EU level organisations working in this field.


Project timetable/duration:  The project will be scheduled to last for two years – 24 months – beginning in 2011 as per expected PROGRESS regulations.


Estimated total cost: Dependent on composition and scale of project consortium but total cost to obviously fall within the financial parameters – €100k to €500k – expected to be stipulated by the 2011 call.



Essex County Council, East of England, United Kingdom

Which kind of partners are sought



We would like to work with local authorities, voluntary sector organisations and other eligible bodies; which share our vision of responsive, outcome driven services and have the capacity to work with us to successfully develop and deliver this project.

Who to contact for further information

Name:         Paul Laffin


Telephone: +32 (0) 2 289 1200

Any other information