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LinkAge Plus

Volume 473: debated on Monday 17 March 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assessment he has made of the LinkAge Plus pilot schemes; and whether he plans to implement the LinkAge Plus scheme nationwide. (184896)

I have been asked to reply.

Warwick Business School have been commissioned to undertake an over-arching national evaluation of the LinkAge Plus pilots. The project brief is:

To build a robust evidence base to support the case for joined up services in terms of delivering better outcomes for older people;

To build an evidence base that supports the economic, as well as social, case for fully joined up/holistic services for older people;

To test the limits of holistic working; and

To build a body of good practice and lessons learned for other partnerships and communities so as to encourage wider application of the approach, beyond pilot sites.

In addition local evaluators have been appointed by each pilot to test the success of the projects in local terms. Their evidence will contribute to the national evaluation. A series of thematic reports will be produced during the life of the projects with a final summary report scheduled for publication by March 2009. The first thematic report—Towards a Business Case for LinkAge Plus—was published in November 2007 on the DWP website.

The current LinkAge Plus pilots will end their funded activity by October 2008. There are no plans to fund any further pilot activity beyond this date. We are already sharing lessons learned from the pilot activity in order to encourage continuing sustainable joined-up services for older people (for example through the new Social Care Reform Grant).