Background: care management and assessment of need are the cornerstones of the community care reforms in the UK. Although much of the research base has been on highly vulnerable older people, in practice, care management has been implemented for a wider group.\ud \ud Objective: to examine how intensive care‐management at home has developed.\ud \ud Design: postal survey of all local authority social services departments in England.\ud \ud Method: we used an overview questionnaire (85% response) and an old‐age services questionnaire (77% response). We classified local authorities according to the presence or absence of seven indicators of intensive care management at home.\ud \ud Results: 97% of social services departments had a goal of providing a community‐based alternative to residential and nursing‐home care. However, only 5% had specialist intensive care‐management services for older people. Other key indicators of intensive care‐management, such as devolved budgets, health service care managers, small caseloads and clear eligibility criteria, were uncommon.\ud \ud Conclusions: there was little evidence of intensive care‐management at home in older peoples' services. This is of concern, given the move towards community‐based provision for frail older people. Closer links between secondary health‐care services (such as geriatric medicine) and intensive care‐management at home may promote more effective care at home for those who are most vulnerable
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