This is the twelfth volume of a series designed to improve unit cost estimates over time, drawing on material as it becomes available, including ongoing and specially commissioned research. It brings together information from a variety of sources to estimate national unit costs for a wide range of health and social care services.\ud \ud The costs reported always reflect, to a greater or lesser degree, work in progress, as the intention is to refine and improve estimates wherever possible, drawing on a wide variety of sources. The report consists of sets of ‘schemata’ or tables, which as well as providing the most detailed and comprehensive information possible, also quote sources and assumptions so users can adapt the information for their own purposes. Also included are: an editorial discussing current and new developments; brief articles providing background to user services, descriptions of cost methodology or use of cost estimates; price indices; a reference list of key studies; a glossary; and indexes.\ud \ud New in this edition: This volume includes a considerable expansion of information about the costs of child social care services, based largely on the results of a series of studies commissioned under the Department of Health's Costs and Effectiveness of Services for Children in Need research initiative. Also included is information on the cost-effectiveness of screening and referral to an alcohol health worker in alcohol-misusing patients attending an NHS accident and emergency department. Information about the costs of a nurse practitioner in primary care is also included for the first time.\ud \ud There are five brief articles: description of the methodology used and resulting unit costs of the adoption process and of supporting families; a brief article identifying the processes involved and the costs to social services of carrying out core assessments for children and their families; a description of the processes undertaken by social services and the factors associated with the variation in costs of child care; description of the evaluation of the costs and outcomes of Home-Start — a well-established national and international organisation offering support to families with young children experiencing difficulties; and information about a detailed study of family interventions and the costs of services used by families requiring support
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