This bulletin from the Welsh Government presents emerging findings from a study designed to assess the feasibility of using the innovative method of data linking to deliver a quantitative component to the evaluation of Supporting People in Wales.
Specifically, the study examined the feasibility of using linked administrative data from participating authorities (Blaenau Gwent and Swansea Councils) to demonstrate the impact of the Supporting People Programme on the use of health services, such as GP and A&E services.
In both cases, the provisional findings show that for some patients, their use of the NHS declined when they began receiving support from Supporting People.
In particular, the data demonstrated that in the 12 month period before support began, people accessing Supporting People services used GP services around twice as frequently as the general population.
For the majority of groups of people studied, GP use increased around the point when people started receiving support, before dropping off to below pre-support levels.
Some similar patterns were seen in the use of A&E services.