The relationship between staff skill mix, costs and outcomes in intermediate care services

Simon Dixon, Billingsley Kaambwa, Susan Nancarrow, Graham Martin, Stirling Bryan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between skill mix, patient outcomes, length of stay and service costs in older peoples' intermediate care services in England. Methods. We undertook multivariate analysis of data collected as part of the National Evaluation of Intermediate Care Services. Data were analysed on between 337 and 403 older people admitted to 14 different intermediate care teams. Independent variables were the numbers of different types of staff within a team and the ratio of support staff to professionally qualified staff within teams. Outcome measures include the Barthel index, EQ-5D, length of service provision and costs of care. Results. Increased skill mix (raising the number of different types of staff by one) is associated with a 17% reduction in service costs (p = 0.011). There is weak evidence (p = 0.090) that a higher ratio of support staff to qualified staff leads to greater improvements in EQ-5D scores of patients. Conclusions. This study provides limited evidence on the relationship between multidisciplinary skill mix and outcomes in intermediate care services.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number221
    Number of pages7
    JournalBMC Health Services Research
    Volume10
    Issue number221
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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