Project PEDS11

Independent Evaluation of Care Together: Happy at Home

Funded by Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC), the 3-year Care Together project is in line with the regional and national vision embraced by Social Care Future, that is: ‘people living in a place they call home with the people and things that they love, in communities where they look out for one another, doing things that matter to those people’.


Care Together is the umbrella term under which CCC and local partners are transforming community-based care and support options for older people, often residing in small, rural communities. Some of these people may not currently be aware of the wealth of resources available in the form of local micro-providers, public services, voluntary and charity sector organisations, and others. Through Care Together, CCC seeks to establish a place-based approach to supporting older adults across the county, that will transform the way local community services are commissioned, funded and delivered. The main population of interest for the Care Together evaluation is older people living in a community setting across East Cambridgeshire, the first locality to adopt this approach.

The main population of interest for the Care Together evaluation is older people living in a community setting across East Cambridgeshire. This includes older adults who receive or are new to social care services, and older residents who use or could benefit from locally based services to improve or maintain their independence and connection to their community.

This independent evaluation of the Care Together: Happy at Home (Care Together) pilot project in the early adopter district of East Cambridgeshire is designed to generate evidence on health, economic and environmental impact of:
• introducing community-driven place-based commissioning
• jointly improving the scope and access to early prevention interventions for older people
• improving the local homecare offer available to people in need of support

Project Aims

The aim of the evaluation is to demonstrate the impact of the East Cambridgeshire Care Together Programme on the triple bottom line, i.e. financial, social and environmental benefits. Underpinned by a logic model, it will address the following questions:

  • Q1. Health impact - What is the effect of Care Together on the well-being of older adults using Adult Social Care services and community support in East Cambridgeshire?
  • Q2. Community Capacity - What is the effect of Care Together on community capacity and access to services in East Cambridgeshire, and how does the programme address inequalities in access to services by older adults?
  • Q3. Financial impact - What is the effect of Care Together on demand for and consequent cost to Adult Social Care and what works in delaying demand?
  • Q4. Social and environmental impact - Does place-based social care commissioning deliver social and environmental value and what is the social return on investment (SROI) of Care Together for typical social care service user profiles?

Project Activity

The evaluation uses a mixed-methods design. This means bringing together qualitative and quantitative data from multiple sources and using different types of analysis to answer the four evaluation questions.

Data for the evaluation includes:

  • A service user survey
  • Interviews with older people and stakeholders involved in service delivery
  • Data collected by the Care Together team to track progress and benefits against targets; and
  • Service use and financial data already collected in Adult Social Care for targeted service user groups.

Anticipated Outputs

The findings from the evaluation will inform future commissioning strategy and delivery models, in the context of a growing emphasis on more sustainable place-based approaches and newly established Integrated Care Systems (ICS). Specifically, the lessons learned, the data and evidence produced will influence place-based commissioning as it scales-up countywide. It will also serve as a case study of how data from social care can be used to inform commissioning and social care practice for the benefit of population health.

Who is involved?

  • Louise Lafortune - corresponding researcher
  • Caroline Lee
  • Graeme Hodgson, Adult Social Care Commissioning Manager, Cambridgeshire County Council
  • Jamie Aprigliano, Project Manager, Policy Design and Delivery, Cambridgeshire County Council
  • Ashling Bannon, Integrated Neighbourhood Programme Manager, C&P ICS
  • Liz Knox, Head of Communities, East Cambs District Council


Click here for a description of Care Together