Introduction: In Wales, UK, implementation of the Social Services and Wellbeing Wales Act 2014 requires Local Authorities to provide integrated care services for older people with complex needs. As integrated services are multifaceted systems characterised by dynamic patterns of inter and intra-activity among organisations, there is a need to develop a systematic, valid and reliable methodology that will allow description, measurement and comparison of integrated social care models to inform the development and improvement of services for older people with complex needs. This research tested a whole systems Social Network Analysis SNA methodology to provide quantitative information on organisations providing care services that are not routinely available in health and social care datasets. The aims of this research were to: i test the feasibility of using SNA to model the service partnerships of care organisations providing integrated care services for community dwelling older people with complex needs; ii identify gaps and potential organisation links within the network which can be used for improving the delivery and provision of integrated care services and; iii provide a baseline against which improvements can be evaluated.
Methods: A whole systems network survey of social care related links between statutory health and local authority social services and non-statutory voluntary and independent care organisations within a local authority in North Wales, UK. Social care related links covered knowledge of the organisation, communication with the organisation, referral to and/or from the organisation, sharing of resources, frequency of contact and quality of the relationship with the organisation. Linkage between organisations via referrals and contacts was measured using degree and density measures, whilst coordination of services was measured using betweeness centrality.
Results: Data analysis is ongoing. We will present results on the success of this process and on the emerging findings from the SNA.