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TOPIC: inTerprofessional working for Older People In this Community


A study of the effectiveness of interprofessional working in primary and community care for older people with multiple needs requiring health and social care services. 

Research team

Claire Goodman (PI) and Daksha Trivedi, University of Hertfordshire,
Vari Drennan (PI) St George’s, University of London & Kingston University
Healther Gage, University of Surrey
Jill Manthorpe, SCWRU
Steve Iliffe, University College London


National Institute for Health Research Service Delivery Organisation (SDO)


2008 - 2011


There are many different ways in which practitioners can work together when supporting older people who live at home with complex illnesses and disabilities. Many of these practitioners work for different organisations and include doctors, nurses, and physiotherapists from the NHS, social workers and others from the local council and care workers from private or voluntary organisations. Little is known about how they work together, the methods they use and what is the best way of combining their efforts to meet older people's needs.

This study will examine different types of joint working and will investigate the effect of different ways of working together on the health and well being of older people and their family carers.


The study is seeking to answer four main research questions:

  • What is the evidence of effectiveness for older people's health and wellbeing in different models of inter professional and interagency working in primary and community care?
  • How do community dwelling older people with multiple needs , and their carers, perceive and define effective inter professional working across health and social care services and to what extent can these be developed into tools for outcome measures of effectiveness for inter -professional working in primary and social care?
  • To what extent do different structural models (with attendant variety in supporting infra structures) of inter professional working for community dwelling older people with multiple conditions, impact on the processes, costs, staff morale? and
  • What is the impact of different types of commissioning, incentives and quality scrutiny on inter professional working and its effectiveness for community dwelling older people with multiple needs and their carers?

The study has four parts: Part 1 of the study is a review of the research evidence. This will be followed by a national survey to find out how local health and social care services in England organise different professional groups to work together. Following this, a set of interviews and group discussions will be held with older people and representatives of patient and older people's organisations. A prospective study over 9 months will track the experience of 90 older people and their family carers, who receive support and care from a number of health and social care professionals, who have different approaches to how they work together.


Final report

Goodman, C., Drennan, V., Manthorpe, J., Gage, H., Trivedi, D., Shah, D., Scheibl, F., Poltawski, L., Handley, M., Nash, A. & Iliffe, S. (2012) 'A study of the effectiveness of interprofessional working for community-dwelling older people. Final report' [pdf, 8.57 MB], London: NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research Programme.


Trivedi, D., Goodman, C., Gage, H., Baron, N., Scheibl, F., Iliffe, S., Manthorpe, J., Bunn, F. & Drennan, V. (2012, online) 'The effectiveness of inter-professional working for older people living in the community: a systematic review', Health & Social Care in the Community.

Goodman, C., Drennan, V., Scheibl, F., Shah, D., Manthorpe, J., Gage, H. & Iliffe, S. (2011) 'Models of Inter Professional Working for older people living at home: a survey and review of the local strategies of English health and social care statutory organisations', BMC Health Services Research, 11(December): 337.

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