A pound invested in Keeping Safe saves services £23.00

communication disability and cost benefit analysis

 ‘For every pound invested in the Talking Mats Keeping Safe resource and training there is a potential saving to services of £23.00’ .This was the findings of a cost benefit analysis carried out during the development phase of the Keeping Safe Talking Mat resource.  A Cost-benefit analysis demonstrates the overall economic value of an intervention with numbers and evidence.

 The Keeping Safe resource

The Keeping Safe resource is a visual framework that has been developed and trialled over 6 years in partnership and with funding from various organisations e.g. Survivor Scotland, Scottish government , Kingdome Abuse survivors project and NHS Fife

The Keeping Safe resource provides:keeping_in_touch

  • A listening space for people with learning disability and communication difficulties to raise concerns and express their point of view.
  • A structure for staff to find out what people are thinking about their lives, and raise issues that can be difficult to discuss.

A reflective practice training was developed and  provided to over 700 staff to allow staff become familiar and confident with using the the resource

Findings of the cost benefit intervention

There is a significant financial advantage to services using Talking Mats. Analysis of six scenarios found that for each pound invested in the Keeping Safe training there is a potential saving to public services of £23.00. In learning disability services it is easy for costs to accelerate quickly. If services don’t respond effectively, challenging behaviours can escalate and relationships and placements are at increased risk of breakdown. Talking Mats can help provide staff with a comprehensive and accessible framework to help them listen to people who can find it difficult to articulate what is really going on for them e.g. issues of pain, relationships or levels of support. In this project 89% of Talking Mats resulted in staff learning new information about the person they were working with, even when they thought they knew them well.  The Talking Mats framework provides a way to turn these points of views into actions that can be monitored and reviewed. It is these early interventions that not only save money but improve quality of life.

Cost benefit Process

With support from Inspiring Scotland a cost benefit analysis was done that examined the cost of the Talking Mats intervention and any resulting actions. 6 cases were chosen from over 100 detailed descriptions of how practitioners working with people with learning disabilities had used the resource.  These descriptions  represented a cross spectrum of  people with learning disabilities in Scotland in terms of living situations e.g. living at home , in supported settings and an inpatients facility . They were also chosen to represent the comorbid conditions that often exist with learning disability e.g. autism, mental health and cerebral palsy. An alternative scenario was created and tested with critical friends as to the likelihood of what might have happened without the Talking Mats intervention. All the scenarios that were developed are  available here 20180110 scenarios cost benefit   The primary source of financial information and the subsequent calculations  was the Unit Costs of Health and Social Care produced by the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) 2015/16 . This contains detailed cost estimates for a range of services such as care placements, NHS services, social work, mental health, and family interventions. This analysis can only be illustrative as assumptions are subjective.

The findings from our final report 160512 Keeping Safe report 2013-2016 showed that effective use of the resource   not only led to  improvements to quality of life for individuals but that it can save services money. Book a place on our  webinar and get the Keeping Safe  resource 20180122 Keeping Safe Webinar  or if face to face discussion is more your thing attend the advanced course in April 2018 – you get the resource with that booking too!

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