New jobs old roles – working for prevention in a whole-system model of health and social care for older people


Naomi Smith
Research Fellow
Social Science Policy and Research Centre
School of Applied Social Science
University of Brighton
Mayfield House, Falmer
Brighton BN1 9PH, UK


The Partnerships for Older People Projects programme provided government funding for local and health authorities to pilot prevention and intervention services in partnership with the voluntary sector and older people between 2006 and 2009. This local evaluation of a pilot in southern England undertaken between 2007 and 2009 used a Theory of Change approach to gathering and reflecting on data with different groups involved in the delivery of this whole-system based model of prevention. The model was delivered in the same way in seven social services locality areas within a large county authority. The method of data gathering enabled structured reflection on the implementation, development and projected outcomes of the model and a consideration of the key learning of working in a whole-system way with partners and stakeholders. The whole-system model, although complex and challenging to implement, was considered overall to have been a success and provided significant learning for partners and stakeholders on the challenges and benefits of working across professional and sectoral boundaries. New posts were created as part of the model. Two of these, recruited to and managed by voluntary sector partners, were identified as ‘new jobs’, but echoed ‘old roles’ within community and voluntary sector based health and social care. The authors reflect on the parallels of these roles with previously existing roles and ways of working and reflect on how the whole-system approach of this particular pilot enabled these new jobs to develop in particularly appropriate and successful ways.