Developing an Integrated Assessment Tool for the Health and Social Care of Older People

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Assessment is central to identifying needs, making decisions and providing services.Assessment tools have a role in relation to co-ordinating care, communicationbetween professionals and gathering data for monitoring and service improvement.As the health and social care of older people becomes more complex, there is anincreased requirement for co-ordinated, effective and efficient assessment. This paperoutlines the development of the Northern Ireland Single Assessment Tool (NISAT) forthe health and social care of older people. The development involved stakeholdersfrom a wide range of professions, older people and carers. The process included asurvey of existing care management assessment tools, various working groups andtesting reliability using vignettes and trained actors. Older people were engaged in amusic, dance and visual arts project on the theme of assessment to inform the tool development.The components of the tool and their development are reviewed, includingconsidering the role of social work in contributing to specialist assessment as distinctfrom the role of co-ordinating a holistic assessment process. There are challengesfacing co-ordinated assessment processes in health and social care of older peoplebecause of the wide variety of care pathways in primary, acute, ‘intermediate’ andcommunity care settings.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 11 Oct 2011


  • Community care
  • assessment
  • integrated health and social care
  • Northern
  • Ireland
  • person-centred care
  • multi-professional working
  • older people
  • test
  • construction
  • tool development
  • social work


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