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Public Health. 1994 Mar;108(2):91-7.

Assessing applicants for Part III accommodation: is a formal clinical assessment worthwhile?

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Department of Public Health, Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow Health Authority, District HQ, Ealing Hospital, Middlesex.


Arrangements for the assessment of applicants for Part III accommodation vary, particularly for those currently living in their own homes. In one outer London borough, the traditional approach, involving an interview with a social worker combined with medical history supplied by the general practitioner, was supplemented by a formal multidisciplinary clinical assessment at a rehabilitation centre. A review of 199 cases seen between 1985 and 1989 revealed that the clinical assessment detected apparently unknown medical problems in 158 (79%) clients, most of which were amenable to treatment. Forty-nine out of 173 (29%) of the clients recommended for residential care on the basis of the social worker's assessment alone were judged to be better placed elsewhere after the complementary clinical assessment. In 25 cases (14%), the client's capacity and preference to stay in their own home appeared not to have been realised or taken into account by the social work assessment. These results suggest that there may be a case for a programme of formal clinical assessment for residential care applicants. The implementation of community care provides the opportunity for more conclusive evaluative studies to be carried out.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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