As people get older, they may become frailer and experience multiple conditions which require health and social care support or the combination of both, widely known as long-term care. Our societies are also getting older, increasing the need for care. The efficient and high-quality provision of care is therefore a crucial issue for social services.

We have been working closely with our members to examine the funding and quality of care services.

Between September 2014 and October 2016, our Working Group on Ageing and Care met five times to look at the integration of health and social care services for older people, local initiatives for active ageing, the social care workforce, quality assurance and technological innovation.  As a result of their work, ‘Investing in later life: a toolkit for social services providing care for older people’ sets out recommendations and practice examples in these areas for social services managers.

Previously, between 2008 and 2010 we established a working group that explored care and funding choices, independent living, and quality care services.

Procuring and Contracting

In 2020 we organised a seminar to explore how to promote quality in procurement and contracting of long-term care services. The seminar was followed by a publication presenting how local public social services procure and commission services (including personal budgets) to create markets of services that promote choice for older people and their families. (See Promoting Choice and Control under Community Care).

Promoting Autonomy

In 2012 we held a seminar to assess how public social services organise care so that older people can maintain and retain their autonomy followed up by a workshop on the same theme in 2013.


Looking deeper into the issue of funding, ‘Contracting for Quality’ (2009-2010) research project and report presented an assessment of the complex set of long-term care relationships, funding, and quality management between public authorities, providers and people using services.