The report was produced by researchers in the NIHR Health and Social Care Workforce unit, who lead ARC South London’s social care theme.

The report showcases the complexity of day centre services and their diversity, shedding light on what makes these service multi-faceted ‘interventions’ that each attender is likely to experience differently. This report provides a rich, pre-Covid pandemic account of four very different English day centres for older people. It sets out their main characteristics, aims, approach, locality, interiors, formal and informal care provided, opening hours, available ‘extras’, charges made to attenders and, finally, ‘typical days’ at each.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to a greater appreciation of the need for in-person contact and the difficulties facing some older people when they could no longer meet other people in their day centre when these closed temporarily.

Katharine Orellana

The report concludes that decision-makers might like to consider the value and broader use of these services, and their buildings and activities, re-focusing their thoughts from day centres being resource-heavy or expensive services, to what they do, and could offer - to individuals, their staff and volunteers, the social care sector, the wider community, local councils, the NHS, and the education sector.  

Read the blog or download the report