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Ready, willing and able? Local perspectives on implementing prevention in social care in England

Marczak, Joanna ORCID: 0000-0002-6955-1180, Wistow, Gerald and Fernández, José-Luis ORCID: 0000-0002-4190-7341 (2024) Ready, willing and able? Local perspectives on implementing prevention in social care in England. British Journal of Social Work. ISSN 0045-3102

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Identification Number: 10.1093/bjsw/bcae010


There is growing emphasis on prevention to reconcile demographic pressures, resource scarcity and expectations of better quality care and support. The Care Act 2014 placed a statutory duty on English local authorities to prevent and delay the development of needs for care and support. However, evidence suggests that the prevention approach has secured less impact than intended. Given that existing approaches have achieved such limited results, new ways of addressing this apparently intractable challenge should be considered. We argue here that theory-based models that support the understanding of, and responses to, implementation barriers and facilitators can provide tools to support the development of more successful implementation. Drawing on in-depth interviews (n=20) in selected English councils and analyses of their policy documents, we explore the ‘ready, willing, and able’ (RWA) model, which posits that those three preconditions must be satisfied before new practices can be implemented sustainably. We argue that RWA can provide a straightforward and parsimonious framework for identifying implementation barriers and facilitators. Using the model to identify potential bottlenecks prior to the implementation can help local actors to clarify baseline barriers to progress. RWA could help to inform opportunities to target identified problems, by reinforcing facilitators and moderating barriers.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author(s)
Divisions: Personal Social Services Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2024 10:15
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2024 10:39

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