Age NI Prevention Seminar

Age NI / SCIE Seminar in the Long Gallery at Stormont 

Age NI and the Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE) held a joint event in the Long Gallery at Stormont on Wednesday 21 March 2012, examining how prevention can be not only cost effective but result in dramatic outcomes for older people.

The issue of preventive measures in Northern Ireland has been limited thus far and there has been no overall policy objectives to drive the focus on this issue. This has often resulted in the delivery of care from a list of pre-determined services to those who have been assessed as needing assistance. Some HSCT have begun reablement projects in an attempt to reconfigure how they deliver social care, however, this is often driven by budgetary restraints rather than a sense of the needs and aspirations of older people.

The recent publication of the Compton Review puts prevention front and centre of the proposed reforms for health and social care making this a timely event bringing together decision and policy makers, experts in the field of social care and advocates for older people.

Purpose of the Event

The purpose of this event was to present clear evidence that projects which promote early intervention and independence show how this approach, through a strategic shift to prevention and early intervention can produce good outcomes and greater efficiency for health and social care.

The event was co-sponsored by Sue Ramsey, MLA, Chair of the Health and Social Services and Public Safety Committee and Jim Wells, MLA, deputy Chair of the Health Committee Social Services and Public Safety. Mickey Brady, MLA, welcomed everyone to the Long Gallery.


Anne O’Reilly, CEO of Age NI chaired the event; she was joined by Dr Karen Windle, from the Personal Social Services Research Unit at the University of Kent who was lead investigator for the evaluation of the Partnerships for Older People Projects; and Jennifer Francis, a Research Analyst from SCIE. They presented evidence on the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of preventative services and the ways in which they can  improve the quality of life for older people.


Jennifer Francis from SCIE highlighted the spectrum of prevention from wellbeing and maintaining independence through minimising diability and maximising functioning. She also noted that re-ablement was within this spectrum and that there was good evidence of effective interventions but limited evidence of cost effectiveness.

opens link in new window Cost effectiveness in Adult Social Care - Jennifer Francis (PPT 628KB)

Dr Karen Windle in her presentation asked “what do we mean by ‘prevention and what do we want to prevent”? She suggested that the underlying rationale was that early and timely services will lead to a reduction in services elsewhere. 

Social care perceptions of prevention include:

• To prevent or delay ill-health or disability consequent to ageing
• To promote and / or improve quality of life
• To create health and supportive environments.

Referring to the Partnerships for Older People Projects (POPPS), she outlined the process and highlighted that the involvement of the voluntary and community sector was paramount to the success of these projects. In addition, the concept of partnership was mandated within these projects. 

opens link in new window Acheiving Change in Older People's Services - Karen Windle (PPT 228KB)

Further Seminar Information

opens link in new window Participant's Brief (PDF 128KB)

opens link in new window Note of Seminar (PDF 320KB)

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