The Welsh Government Supporting People data linkage feasibility project: Assessing the impacts of Supporting People on health service use in Wales
The Welsh Government’s Supporting People Programme provides housing-related support for more than 60,000 vulnerable people in Wales each year. It costs over £120 million a year, and aims to prevent problems by providing help as early as possible.
A study at our Administrative Data Research Centre in Wales found:
- higher average levels of GP use and A&E visits among Supporting People service users, compared to a ‘control’ population matched on age, gender and local authority
- for the majority of service user subgroups, the use of GP services peaked around the time support began and fell after that
Lesley Griffiths, Welsh Assembly member and Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, said, “I am really pleased to see we are able to use innovative data linking techniques to learn more about the impact of the Supporting People Programme. The feasibility study also suggests the programme has a positive impact on the lives of people accessing the services.”
The Welsh Government has now given the go-ahead for a full study using linked administrative data.
Professor David Ford, Director of the Administrative Data Research Centre Wales, says, “This study is a great example of how academia can work together to aid colleagues across government. This feasibility study and the subsequent study that will now follow, demonstrates how our Centre can benefit Welsh citizens by using complex data to better understand how policy affects people.”