The SPRINT project organised the session “Social Investment and Long-term Care” , on Tuesday 6th September 2016, in the frame of ILPN conference in London, at LSE premises. The workshop created an interest among the ILPN conference participants and successfully gathered them inspiring discussions related to social investment in the periods of austerity.

Session: “Social investment and long-term care”  

Chair: B Casey Commentators: C Bolger & Peter Morris

I. Applying social investment principles to the provision of long-term care: issues for consideration, Bernard Casey, PSSRU, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

In 2013, the European Commission (EC) launched its Social Investment Package (SIP). The package had a double objective. First, it constituted an effort to reinvigorate debate about social expenditure, particularly in a time of fiscal austerity. Second, it provided an opportunity to strengthen the social dimension of its Europe2020 strategy – a strategy that, until then, had seemed to concentrate primarily on enhancing “economic growth”. The paper will:

  • provide an understanding of what SI, itself, means – this requiring the many dimensions of the term to be unpacked and the extent to which there is a common understanding of what SI is currently achieving, and what might be achieved, to be made clear;
  • set the background for an examination of how social cost-benefit analysis might be applied to answer the question: Are there any commonly accepted metrics to reasonably, comprehensively and effectively compare “expenditure” on long-term care services with respect to their quality and social performance?; and
  • contribute to the discussion about how the principles of SI are or might be used to improve LTC provision in a fashion that is welfare enhancing.

II. Measuring social investment in LTC: what could be learned from other disciplines? Virginija Poskute, ISM University of Management and Economics, Vilnius, Lithuania

The concept of social investment is linked with child and youth policy and employment policy. The European Commission has provided a further definition of social investment. According to the EU, social investment are “policies designed to strengthen people’s skills and capacities and support them to participate fully in employment and social life“. This includes long term care where it recognises the importance of “investing in prevention, rehabilitation, age-friendly environments and more ways of delivering care that are better adjusted to people’s needs and remaining capacities”. In order to meet the challenges of a growing frail elderly population, there is a need for collaboration between different academics disciplines, including economics, management, public politics, law and sociology, between different public policy actors, especially public, private and non-profit organizations, and between academics and public policy actors. Therefore, the aims of this paper is to analyse possibilities and facilitate the integration of interdisciplinary point of view in order to propose more effective model for stakeholder collaboration that draws form the contribution that can be made by adaptation contemporary best management practises and cost-benefit analysis. Particular attention will be paid to contemporary principles of investment appraisal and the increasing importance attached to double and even triple bottom lines – those measuring “social” and environmental impacts as well as simple financial returns.

III. Benchmarking models of social investment in Europe: examining forms of long-term care in the SHARE database, Platon Tinios, Piraeus University, Greece

Long term care meets similar needs all over the world by using strikingly different means in different contexts. This paper exploits the Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) of people aged 50+ firstly, to chart the extent of needs using comparable criteria and, secondly, to see the extent to which these needs are still unmet, but also how they are met in different parts of Europe. The focus is thus on two key indicators which affect the ways in which social investment in long term care will operate across Europe. The Care Gap, that is, the extent to which the need for care is not met by any kind of provision, neither formal nor informal and the Care Mix, that  is, how the overall provision is split into formal care (professional both public and private), informal (unpaid care by family, friends or neighbours) and a mix of both. Basic findings for the 65+ population are supplemented by an analysis by large age group, gender, and type of household. The ‘stylized facts’ arising from the analysis can explain differences in the nature of social investment, but also in the identity (and the different criteria used) of those undertaking long term care social investment decisions.